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Muhith expects courtesy from colleagues

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Staff Reporter
Reacting to Monday’s harsh remarks made by the Planning Minister, Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Tuesday said ministers should maintain some sort of courtesy while talking about their colleagues.
“Ministers should maintain some level of courtesy and it’s all my point. He (Mustafa Kamal) had delivered a speech with wrong information,” Muhith said replying to a query from a reporter at the Finance Ministry’s conference room.
Earlier on Monday, Planning Minister Mustafa Kamal lashed out at the Finance Minister over the latter's alleged poor performance during his previous and current tenures.
“He (Muhith) talks tall. He proposes a massive budget every year. The speech is so long that he crashes out while delivering it,” Kamal said during his interaction with a group of journalists at the room of the PRO of the Planning Minister.
“But, in practice, he fails to deliver on many fronts. If I were him, I would have kept the budget speech within just 15 pages,” Kamal added.
About receiving pension from the World Bank raised by the Planning Minister, Muhith said he does not get any pension from anywhere in the world except the government of Bangladesh amounting nearly to Tk 41,000-52,000 per year. “This is the pension that I get.”
About his intention to file a case against the World Bank which was also stated by Kamal, Muhith said he had earlier mentioned that he would file a case against the World Bank for disgracing the government.
 “But, I also said I would file the case when I would not remain there as a minister. The World Bank is the highest development partner of Bangladesh and being the minister, you won’t file a case with your highest development partner,” Muhith added.
About Lotus Kamal’s sharp criticisms over the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) concept, the Finance Minister said, “It’s his (Kamal) weakness. He has to correct it as I’ve nothing to do on this. PPP is an international concept and I didn’t create it in Bangladesh. It’s already there all over the world and someone who is in this business must know it.”
Since the Finance and Planning Ministers have been at loggerheads for the past couple of months over the size of the revised budget for the Annual Development Program, Muhith said this happens always. “I’ve to cut my cloths according to my means…this happens every year….it’s normal and there’s nothing unusual in it.”
The Planning Minister has recently demanded Tk 61,000 crore for the revised ADP of the current fiscal year, but given the financial constraints Muhith advocated for limiting the development budget to Tk 55,000 crore.
Asked whether it is possible to keep the budget speech within 10 to 15 pages, the Finance Minister declined to make further comments.

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