Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud today said many people think that Bangladesh's position on Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) has been downgraded one step on the prescription of the international traders intentionally as the national election falls this year.
"This year is an election year and many people think that Bangladesh has been downgraded one step on CPI index on the prescription of the international traders. There will be no more report this year and the elections will be held before the next year's report," he said.
The minister made the remarks while replying to a query before attending a function at Bashundhara City Shopping Mall in the capital
Hasan said the recent activities of the Transparency International (TI) have raised many questions and even, through a press conference, it (TI) claimed that there was corruption when a false allegation was raised over the Padma Bridge. But later, it was seen that the World Bank (WB) has lost in a Canadian court, he added.
Later, he said, the WB had proposed to finance the bridge again. But, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has refused their proposal, he added.
The minister said the Transparency International didn't seek apology for their statement. Thus, they made statements over COVID-19 vaccines and other issues which seemed to be politically motivated, said Hasan, also Awami League joint general secretary.
"We welcome the presence and activities of civil society organisations like Transparency International. But it is regrettable, if their activities are on the prescription of the world traders or as an aide to some of them or for any political motive," the minister said.
Bangladesh, he said, became champions in corruption for five consecutive times during the BNP's regime. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has adopted 'zero tolerance' policy to kerb corruption and for this, the corruption has decreased in the country, he added.
Replying to another query over BNP's criticism about increasing the price of electricity, the minister said BNP's secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir was a teacher of Dhaka College. "I would like to urge him to read if possible about the price hike of fuel in all European countries. Fuel price hike in the UK is over 10 per cent. The price of electricity has increased in all developed nations including the USA due to increase of fuel and gas prices," he added.
"Bangladesh government is trying to provide electricity to the people at an affordable price by subsidising thousands of crores of Taka till now. But how much can be subsidised! There also has a level of subsidy and we have to sustain our economy. The price has been adjusted for that," said Hasan.