Motorcyclists are angry about not getting oil at the petrol pump

The people were going to bed yesterday with frustration cautioning another price hike of daily commodities and essentials due to government declaration to increasing fuel prices abnormally last night. The government increased the price of fuel by a jump from BDT 34 to BDT 46 per litre suddenly. The diesel price was increased by BDT 34 to BDT 114 per litre, octane by BDT 46 to Tk.135 and petrol by BDT 44 to BDT 130. Price of fuels has increased in international market and the counties including South Asia are adjusting it regularly; Bangladesh is also adjusting it now too for lowering the loss of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation.

When price of diesel was 170 dollars, we did not adjust the price then. I was waiting, hoping for the situation to improve. In general, BPC starts incurring losses whenever fuel price goes higher than 79 dollars per barrel. The price went up as high as 170 dollars a barrel. BPC then told me, “Sir, we want to adjust the prices.” If we adjusted the prices then, diesel price would go up from Tk 80 per litre to Tk 160 per litre. I told BPC to wait a while and then adjust the prices. BPC has already incurred losses of over Tk 8,000 crore from its own funds.
– Nasrul Hamid, The state minister for power, energy and mineral resources. Courtesy: The Daily Star

Due to the Russia-Ukraine war, the price of fuel oil became unstable in the world market, as a result the exchange rate between dollar and taka was also affected, in which BPC had to count losses. Due to the high price of fuel oil in neighboring countries, there was a risk of smuggling. BPC’s loss from February to July this year was about Tk 9000 crore due to price hikes in the world market. It is in this context that the government has been forced to adjust the prices.
– Obaidul Quader, The Road Transport and Bridges Minister, Courtesy: The Prothom Alo

A few days ago, the ministry of agriculture increased the fertilizer (Urea) prices by BDT 6 to BDT 22 per kg. Hearing to soaring the fertilizer prices, the feeder folks of the nation, the farmers ‍dumbfounded and beat their foreheads for becoming a misfortunate of the nation. The ministry of agriculture defended by arguing that the current price of urea fertilizer is BDT 81 in international market and the government will have to provide a subsidy of BDT 59 per kg even after increasing the prices by BDT 6. By selling the grain at less than cost of production the farmers purchase irrigation in rainy session with increasing prices, now they have to pay more prices for fertilizer. Who will calculate the subsidies given by farmers each year for increasing agricultural production to ensure food security of the nation?

Agriculture will be affected due to increase in fuel oil prices. But the farmers will cultivate even it it is difficult. Because the farmers are sacrificers. They also cultivate by selling their wife’s neclances and earrings. They sell cows and goats and buy fertilizers to grow crops.”
– Dr. Abdur Razzak, Minister of Agriculture
Courtesy: Bangla Tribune

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Empowerment of Common People

The volunteers, mostly students from different universities and colleges have given an exciting experiences for social transformation with their enthusiastic behaviors! 4 years ago, the journey started with only few volunteers to raise the youth voices against injustice, particularly injustice in the economic sector. With the volunteers, we raise demand for budgetary allocation for youth employment which yet to be undone effectively. The volunteers participated in campaign programme with different networks demanding climate justice, reforming fiscal budgetary process, online privacy, consumer rights, farmers rights! From these campaign, they learn and inspire to form an institutional process which will bring a real change within the individual and society as well!

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Building a better world, partnering with youth!

undefinedWith an caption “Building a better world, partnering with youth”, United Nations observed the International Youth Day 2012 today, 12 August 2012. May be the call did not reach to Bangladesh, so the day spent without any noise  with a quiet silence!  But youth’s role are vibrant in movement of change which are recognized by all, irrespective of social and political arena! Youths were played a important role against British colonial regime, youths organized historical language movement, they resisted the Pakistani  regime and actively took part in independence war of Bangladesh. There have many more golden history of youth in Bangladesh. Youth have a great role in re-gaining democracy in Bangladesh and power of youths are also recognized by all to give a absolute majority of the present government leaded by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

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The 0.7 percent club

Bad news: The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said major donors’ official development assistance fell 3 percent in 2011.

Seventeen countries committed to spend 0.7 percent of their gross national income on aid by 2015. This positioning of aid targets stemmed from an idea by the World Council of Churches in 1958, when the first goal was set to 1 percent of donor countries’ GNI. Due to several technical issues, the target was scaled down to 0.75 percent — a goal several developed countries refused to accept.

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Alternative of Micro-Credit

Savings is a traditional practice of rural people, particularly of women in Bangladesh.  Youth folk formed club or associations in the rural areas for increasing their saving funds in a short time by giving credit to their neighbors.  About all the clubs and associations could not be sustained due to absent of long time vision or a visionary leader. But a few people from these association or club formed an money lending organization as well as micro-credit institution in Bangladesh for doing financial business.

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Youth Voice for Employment

A pre-budget consultation held with leading economists  where minister or economists, there were no one to focus on employment generation while millions of unemployed youths are fighting for work.  The economists suggested for introduction of a minimum level of income tax on holders of Taxpayers Identification Numbers (TIN), enforcement of an appropriate policy on subsidies, bringing about reforms in the provisions for wealth tax and putting in effective efforts to improve urban transportation and housing sector through budgetary intervention. But everyday millions of people are coming to urban areas particularly in the Dhaka city for searching employment which should be  the major concern of discussion of pre-budget discussion, unfortunately minister and economists have forgotten it.

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DBM Regional Dialogue on Budget Decentralization

8 May 2010: Khulna Regional Dialogue on Budget Decentralization

12 May 2010: Rajshahi Regional Dialogue on Budget Decentralization

13 May 2010: Rangpur Regional Dialogue on Budget Decentralization

15 May 2010: Barisal Regional Dialogue on Budget Decentralization

22 May 2010: Chittagong Regional Dialogue on Budget Decentralization

26 May 2010: Hill Tracks Regional Dialogue on Budget Decentralization, Rangamati

29 May 2010: Hoar Regional Dialogue on Budget Decentralization, Sunamgaj

4 May: Asian Day Against Privatisation of Essential Services

10 Citizen Group organised human chain in front of National Press Club, Dhaka on 04 May 2010 to mark Asian Day against Privatisation of Essential Services. The Asian Countries like Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal observed the day together in respective countries.


সেবা খাত বেসরকারীকরণ জনজীবনে রাষ্ট্র কর্র্তৃক মানবাধিকার লংঘনের পরিবেশ তৈরী করবে

04/05/2010 05:59:00 Rofiqul Islam Pothik  The DhakaNews24

৪ মে সকাল ১১ টায় ১০টি অধিকার ভিত্তিক সংগঠন আন্তর্জাতিক অর্থলগ্নীকারী প্রতিষ্ঠান বিশেষ করে এডিবি’র কর্তৃক সেবাখাতকে বেসরকারিকরণে চাপ সৃষ্টি করার প্রতিবাদে এক মানববন্ধন কর্মসূচির আয়োজন করে। সংগঠনগুলো

ঢাকা নিউজ 24 ডট কম, ডেস্ক ( ৪ মে ২০১০);

৪ মে সকাল ১১ টায় ১০টি অধিকার ভিত্তিক সংগঠন আন্তর্জাতিক অর্থলগ্নীকারী প্রতিষ্ঠান বিশেষ করে এডিবি’র কর্তৃক  সেবাখাতকে বেসরকারিকরণে চাপ সৃষ্টি করার প্রতিবাদে এক মানববন্ধন কর্মসূচির আয়োজন করে। সংগঠনগুলো হচ্ছে; এএমকেএস, ডোরা, ইক্যুইটিবিডি, লীড ট্রাস্ট, লা-ভিয়া ক্যাম্পেসিনা- বাংলাদেশ, এমএফটিডি, অনলাইন নলেজ সেন্টার, পথিকৃৎ, প্রান্তিক, প্রদীপ, অর্পণ এবং আরসিএসবি।

ইক্যুইটি এন্ড জাস্টিস ওয়ার্কিং গ্রুপ বাংলাদেশ (ইক্যুইটিবিডি) এর নেতৃত্বে এই এলায়েন্স জাতীয় প্রেসক্লাবের সামনে প্রতিবাদ কর্মসূচিতে  উজবেকিস্তানের থাকসিনে চলমান এডিবি’র ৪৩তম বার্ষিক পরিচালনা পর্ষদ এর সভায় এশিয়া অঞ্চলে পানি, বিদ্যুৎ এবং অন্যান্য সেবাখাত  বেসরকারীকরণের বিষয়টি বিশেষভাবে আলোচিত হচ্ছে। এশিয় অঞ্চলের এই অধিকার ভিত্তিক সংগঠন গুলো ৪ মে’ কে সেবা খাতের বেসরকারীকরণ বিরোধী এশিয়া দিবস ঘোষণা করে এবং সেবা খাতের বেসরকারীকরণের চাপ সৃষ্টি করার জন্য এডিবি’র ভূমিকার প্রতিবাদ জানায়। এই প্রতিবাদ কর্মসূচি একইভাবে ফিলিপাইন, ইন্দোনেশিয়া, ভারত এবং পাকিস্তানেও অনুষ্ঠিত হচ্ছে।

ইক্যুইটিবিডি’র সেক্রেটারী জেনারেল মোঃ সামসুদ্দোহা তার বক্তব্যে বলেন যে, এডিবি এবং এর সহযোগী আন-র্জাতিক প্রতিষ্ঠান সমূহ উন্নয়নশীল দেশসমূহের সেবা খাত বিশেষ করে স্বাস্থ্য, কৃষি, বিদ্যুৎ ও পানি সরবরাহ ইত্যাদি বেসরকারীকরণের জন্য ক্রমাগতভাবে রাষ্ট্রকে চাপ সৃষ্টি করছে। তিনি আরো বলেন যে, এডিবি’র ভূমিকা হচ্ছে সেবা খাত সমূহকে বেসরকারীকরণের মাধ্যমে উৎপাদন খরচ তুলে আনা সহ মুনাফা তৈরী করা। এডিবি ইতিমধ্যেই বাংলাদেশ সরকারকে শহরাঞ্চলে পানি সরবরাহ প্রকল্পে ৫০ মিলিয়ন ডলার ঋণ সহায়তা প্রদান করেছে যার প্রধান শর্ত হচ্ছে শহরসমূহে পানি সরবরাহ ব্যবস্থা সম্পূর্ণ বেসরকারী ব্যবস্থায় ছেড়ে দেওয়া। ফলে পানির মূল্য বর্তমানের চাইতে প্রায় ২০০% বৃদ্ধি পাবে।

ইক্যুইটিবিডি’র সদস্য  সৈয়দ আমিনুল হক বলেন যে, বাংলাদেশের মতো দরিদ্র দেশে লক্ষ লক্ষ দরিদ্র মানুষ দরিদ্রসীমার নিচে বসবাস করছে এবং তারা বসি-তে বাস করে যাদের নিরাপদ পানির কোন অভিগম্যতা বা অধিকার নেই। অথচ এডিবি’র উক্ত প্রকল্প বাস্তবায়নের ফলে শহরাঞ্চলে নিরাপদ পানি পাওয়ার ক্ষেত্রে দরিদ্র মানুষের অধিকার ক্ষুন্ন হবে যেটা রাষ্ট্র কর্তৃক মানবাধিকার লংঘন করার সামিল।

ইক্যুইটিবিডি’র সদস্য মোস্তফা কামাল আকন্দ বলেন যে, কৃষি খাতের বাণিজ্যিকরণের ফলাফল আমরা দেখতে পাচ্ছি। বর্তমানে আমাদের কৃষকদের বীজের জন্য বহুজাতিক কোম্পানীগুলোর উপর নির্ভরশীলতা বৃদ্ধি পেয়েছে, যে কারণে উৎপাদন খরচ ও বেড়ে যাওয়াসহ নিম্নমানের বীজের কারণে জাতি আজ ক্ষতির সম্মুখিন হচ্ছে। কৃষিখাত একটি অলাভজনক খাতে পরিনত হয়েছে এবং কর্মসংস্থান ব্যাপক ভাবে হ্রাস পেয়ে বেকারত্বের সৃষ্টি হয়েছে।

লীড ট্রাস্ট এর ফিরোজ আহমেদ বলেন যে, আন্তর্জাতিক অর্থলগ্নীকারী প্রতিষ্ঠানগুলো শুরু থেকেই দরিদ্র দেশগুলোর উপর বিভিন্ন শর্ত বিশেষ করে বেসরকারী করণের শর্ত চাপিয়ে দিচ্ছে এবং ঋণ নিতে বাধ্য করছে। এডিবি নিজেই বলে থাকে দারিদ্রতার অন্যতম কারণ হচ্ছে সেবাখাতে মানুষের অভিগম্যতা না থাকা। অথচ আমাদের মতো দরিদ্র দেশে তাদের কার্যকলাপের ফলে সেবা খাতে দরিদ্র মানুষের সহজ অভিগম্যতা ক্রমেই কঠিন হয়ে উঠছে। সত্যিকর অর্থে বাংলাদেশে এডিবির আর্থিক সহযোগীতা  কখোনই দরিদ্র দুরীকরণের উদ্দেশ্যে হয় নাই এবং তাদের অর্থায়নের প্রেক্ষাপটই হচ্ছে একটি অমানবিক দৃষ্টি ভংগী ভিত্তিক যা দারিদ্র সৃষ্টি করছে।

পথিকৃৎ এর সভাপতি ফয়েজ আহমেদ বলেন যে, আমাদের দেশে আন্তর্জাতিক আর্থিক প্রতিষ্ঠানের সহায়তায় দরিদ্র দুরীকরণের হার খুবই হতাশা ব্যাঞ্জক। বাংলাদেশে এখনও ৪১% লোক দরিদ্রসীমার নিচে বাস করে। এডিবি’র মতো আর্থিক প্রতিষ্ঠান সমুহের কুটকৌশল এমনই যে, তারা আমাদের দেশের সেবা খাতের উন্নয়নে কোন সহযোগীতাতো করেই না বরং বিভিন্ন শর্তারোপের মাধ্যমে সরকারকেও কোন প্রকান বিনিয়োগের সুযোগ দেয়না। যে কারণে বাংলাদেশসহ উন্নয়নশীল দেশসমুহে দারিদ্রতা ক্রমেই বৃদ্ধি পাচ্ছে।

Budget Activism in Bangladesh: Review-1

Budget is not only a income-expenditure calculation of government rather it is  a political document of government where they show their national development strategies. We can identify the political character and development philosophy of the ruling government through analysing the national budget.

The students and common people thought that  budget is a very difficult issue which is beyond to understand of common people like us! Only political parties and experts economists understand it! 
– Our young activist and facilitator of Amar Odhikar! Amader Budget Campaign,  Mofaq Kharul Islam Toufiq got this experience from Titumir College.  

Is it difficult to understand! Yes, not so easy! But not so difficult! As a conscious citizen, you should have to try to understand the budget. Compare the state with family. A family  have to prepare its budget and family prepare budget based on income; but the state prepare the budget based on expenditure! Difference is only here! The books on budget literacy published by Summunay indicates this briefing.

We, the policy makers  have not get much more time to read the budget documents, because we get these documents just before a few days of budget speech given of Finance Minister in the parliament. So, we just hear the speech of Finance Minister and he gets a big hands from ruling policy makers and an opposing sound like shame, shame from opposition. In other countries, policy makers get about 6 month to speak in budget; if we got such time, it could be make a fruitful budget discussion in the parliament.
– A policy maker in budget seminar, held in last year!

Now a days, we found government sat with trade bodies and think tank on budget, but they discussed it in professional language which beyond to understand by citizen group.  Against the backdrop, some citizen group initiates  budget discussion to make it easy to understand and fruitful for the people!  This year, as forum of young people,  Online Knowledge Centre takes this challenge to reach the general people in different communities through launching budget campaign.

Already budget document has been published and there is no room to add any recommendations. So, we need to organise such seminars earlier.
– Most of the speaker highlighted this point earlier budget discussion.

 The citizen group organise pre-budget discussion in April-June usually, just before of declaring budget at National Parliament, so there had not any space to add recommendations. Although it is very difficult to reach in budget process, but if anybody wants eagerly to take part in budget discussion, then s/he should have to follow the budget cycle!

This year, the  National Board of Revenue (NBR) made a public circular on people participation in National Budget on 21 February 2010 and the cicular asked the budget recommendations from different professional bodies, think tanks, research organisations as well as from citizen groups. The circular describes that after getting the budget recommendations, government will sit with the respective groups for budget discussion.

May be, the professional institution like trade bodies and think tanks responded and we found the budget discussion with them at the newspaper recently. But government has not sat with citizen group till now, it means, may be no response they got from these group. But the citizen group  is preparing some unfruitful and irresponsible  budget discussion this year as usual making blame again, budget document has been prepared…… bla bla bla! The group who oranises budget discussion each year, they should be responsible and keep their eyes in budget cycle! In the other hand, the government should think about the status of semi-professional institution and they should not justify people participation just throughing a circular. The government should sit with citizen group by asking budget recommendations, if really the government really wants public participation.

The economists urged the government to impose capital gain tax on the banks and city congestion tax to reduce traffic jam. They made the call it on 12 April 2010 at the pre-budget discussion with Finance Minister AMA Muhith held at the Finance Division. Economists have also suggested giving area-wise instead of countrywide subsidy and energy incentives to small and medium entrepreneurs for at least next two years. The discussion brief has been described as follows:

M Hafizuddin Khan, Former finance adviser of the caretaker government
The government should form a commission to find out why the ADP could not be implemented and suggest remedies. A large number of entrepreneurs and households are producing electricity due to ongoing power crisis using diesel-run generators, which eat up a huge amount of fuel. So, the government could consider setting up a diesel-run power plant for the capital.

Mustafizur Rahman, Executive Director, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD)
There is no possibility of power deficiency being overcome in next two years as per the government plan. The government should give energy subsidy to small and medium entrepreneurs for at least two years to make up for the losses incurred due to power crunch. The government is going to take a big size ADP but the finance minister’s budget speech should spell out which ways the ADP would be implemented.

Rushidan Islam, Research Director, BIDS
The government should take  a special scheme for areas affected by climate change and disasters and  the government could make allocations for coastal employment schemes and disaster insurance schemes in the next budget. Before giving any privilege to the readymade garments factory owners, the government should ensure that the workers are given proper wages and other facilities.

M Farash Uddin, Former governor of Bangladesh Bank 
The government should form  an accreditation council to improve quality of education in the public and private universities and the council must be given sufficient independence.

Mahbub Hossain, Agricultural economist
The price of agricultural equipment has fallen much in the international market. So, instead of giving countrywide agricultural subsidy, the government should subsidy for selected areas.

Mashih Malik Chowdhury, Chartered accountant
Capital gain tax should be imposed on the banks as they are making huge profit by investing in the share market. At present the tax rate on the banks is 42.5 percent, but if their profit on share market is taken into account, the rate of real tax on them goes down to below 20 percent. The government should also  impose of city congestion tax to reduce traffic jam.

Famida Khatun, CPD researcher
The government should make budgetary allocation should be made for rainwater harvesting to combat water crisis.

Mir Mostafizur Rahman, Former finance secretary
The government should stop scope to whiten black money in the next budget. “For God’s sake, stop giving scope to whiten black money by giving some tax on purchasing house and cars. 

M Motiul Islam, chairman of Industrial and Infrastructure Development Finance Co Ltd, former adviser of the caretaker government Prof Jamilur Reza Chowdhury, former president of Bangladesh Economic Association Dr Qazi Kholiquzzman Ahmed, BIDS Director General MK Mujeri, Prof Khandker Bazlul Haque and Prof Ashrafuddin from Dhaka University, BIDS Research Director Protima Paul, Prof Nurul Islam from Buet, and CPD researcher Uttam Kumar Dev also spoke.

Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr Atiur Rahman, Finance Secretary Dr Mohammad Tareq, Chairman of the National Board of Revenue Dr Nasiruddin Ahmed, ERD Secretary Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan and Banking Division Secretary Shafiqur Rahman Patwari were present.

Comments of Prodip Kumar Roy
For mitigating electricity crisis, the government should allocate a sum amount of electricity for any building as per sq-ft whose 80 percent will be provided by the state and 20 percent will generate the owner of building through solar energy. If the building owner wishes to increase his/her allocated amount of electricity, then the government will charge double for extra amount of electricity. And the government should reduce the prices of solar machineries through giving subsidy, so that people inspire to generate electricity through solar energy.

Some preliminary findings, fusions of economic theories

by Rashedul Islam

 For many years, people have studied economic theories to better understand growth, transition of growth, development, transition of development, economic self-reliance, economic benefit for business, trade and commerce, economic well-being of people, overall improvement of life, standard of living and way of life. At the beginning of the 21st century, some loopholes have been identified in some of these theories, which are discussed below.
   Saving-investment equality or identity confusion: In undergraduate courses, it is taught that, in ex-ante sense, savings may not be equal to investment but, in ex-post sense, savings and investments are always equal and identical. Three kinds of investments are known to us: physical investments in factories, equipment, machineries, plants, hotels, etc; financial investments in shares and stocks and short-term and long-term loans; and inventory investments in purchase of raw materials, assessment of works-in-progress and maintenance of the stock of finished goods.
   It is safe to say that entire savings are not usually invested. Therefore, not only in ex-ante sense but also in ex-post sense savings and investment are not equal.
   Five factors of production instead of four: In undergraduate classes it is taught that there are four factors of production. In reality, however, five factors have been identified. Our known four factors of production are land, labour, capital and organisation. But in the production process, for example in farming, we usually use some inputs such as seeds, seedlings, saplings, chemical fertilisers and insecticides or pesticides, etc, which do not fall in line with the four factors. Therefore, five factors of production have been identified and the name of the new factor may be called ‘input’.
   Investment is a function involving three vital independent variables: In undergraduate courses, it is taught that investment is a function of only one independent variable which is rate of interest. If the rate of interest rises, investment will decrease or may decrease. On the other hand, if the rate of interest decreases, investment will rise or may rise. But, in reality it is found that dependant variable investment has a functional relationship with three other independent variables. These are (1) prospective demand of goods and services that will be produced; (2) existence of skilled entrepreneurs, (3) existence of social overhead capital and physical infrastructures.
   Resource constraints and optimum size of population: In every country or economy, land resources, forest resources, mineral resources, sea resources and also water resources are limited. Therefore, while assessing the available resources, every country should maintain optimum size of population. Consequently, it can be hoped that desired optimum size will not foment economic crises because import from other countries may not be always feasible due to various reasons.
   Money circulation and materiality or concept of physics: It is visualised that local currency and foreign currencies are circulated whereas matter or material things are transformed into matters. In most cases, we are constrained by matters which are physical resources. An example may be used to make this notion clear. Suppose, with a view to producing timber we initiated tree plantation in a certain area. We had nurtured 1,000 big teak trees for long 40 years. From those trees we could produce a 30,000 cubic feet timber. From 30,000 cubic feet timber we made furniture worth 3 million dollars. It can be seen that at every stage we have added value through ‘value-added’ process of production. No doubt, value of money is increasing at every stage, but those 1000 teak trees or 30000 cubic feet timber remain constant or fixed. Therefore, our requirements or demand are constrained or blocked by physical resources or matter. Although this process is not 100 per cent similar to the concept of physics, it is a bit similar to the concept of physics.
   Use of mathematics in economics as a logical language: Economics is a branch of social science which considers human behaviour, human psychology, social psychology and non-economic factors. This discipline is not pure science in the way Physics and Chemistry are. In economics we make mathematical assumptions to explain a theory, model or hypothesis. Through logical steps or logical sequences we come to a conclusion or a result. Since economics is a branch of social science those assumptions do not remain constant or still. In reality, those assumptions sway or oscillate. As a result, derived conclusion or result will also sway or oscillate; but it is expected to stay within a certain range. With the result or conclusion that we get through mathematical derivatives or mathematical steps, economic issues can be better understood.
   Welfare economy is better than extreme capitalist economy: In an extreme capitalist economy we face some problems which may trigger social unrest. Two examples are given here. Suppose, a person has been starving for two consecutive days because of some reasons or other. In order to satisfy hunger, that person will be ready to pay 20 dollars for a meal the actual price of which is 10 dollars. Still, that person is having consumer surplus according to economic theories or concepts. Secondly, we should enact consumer protection act or law in order to ensure that the price which a seller is charging for his/her goods and services includes only normal profits. He/She is not taking super normal profits.
   Human capital and its importance for development: Capital is defined as a produced means of production which is used for further production. But in my opinion, expertise in any field knowledge that is found in scientists, specialist physicians, skilled surgeons, expert engineers and architects, knowledgeable professors, barristers, reputed litterateurs, cultural personalities, reputed economists and bankers should be termed human capital. Without human capital a country will not be able to harness, tap and utilise its own resources for growth, development and self-reliance.
   Since economics is applied in both public and private sectors, in international financial institutions, state-administration, foreign relations and diplomacy and in politics, students of economics should know a bit of law including international laws, functioning process of the government, international relations, diplomacy, native and world history, political science, sociology, anthropology, human psychology and of course some mathematics and statistics.
   Rashedul Islam is deputy comptroller and auditor general (reserve), The Article Published in the Daily New Age, dated 20 March 2010. 

Stop Development Dilemma |||| Stop Donor Driven PRSP

Bangladesh Government and its Bi-Lateral and Multi-Lateral Development Partners met at Dhaka on 15-16 February 2010. Targeting the meet, 21 Citizen Organisations oranised a human chain at front of National Press Club, Dhaka on 15-16 February 2010, demanding Climate Debt, Transparency and accountaility in Public Financing and Soveriegn Development National Policy.

Rich countries urged to pay carbon debt
Staff Correspondent, The Daily Star, 16 February 2010
Different development organisations form a human chain in the city yesterday demanding the rich countries pay carbon debt. Photo: STAR

Speakers at a human chain yesterday called on the developed countries and donors to pay carbon debt to Bangladesh since the country is the worst sufferer of the impacts of climate change.

As climate change is the result of high carbon emission by the developed countries, they should pay the compensation, they added.

A total of 21 development organisations formed the human chain in front of the National Press Club ahead of the meeting of the Bangladesh Development Forum (BDF), which began yesterday, says a press release.

The organisations include Equity and Justice Working Group Bangladesh (EquityBD), AMKS, Bangladesh Krishak Federation, CSRL, MFTD, RCSV, Sirajganj Flood Forum, Online Knowledge Centre, Solidarity Workshop, VOICE, etc.

Another protest rally was also held in front of the DFID office in London the same day.

CSOs urge developed nations to compensate carbon debt

CSO members formed a human chain in front of
National Press Club yesterday pressing for quick carbon debt
compensation. NN photo

Staff Reporter, The New Nation, 16 February 2010

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) called upon the developed country representatives and donors, who are participating in Bangladesh Development Forum (BDF), to pay their carbon debt as compensation.

A total of 21 CSOs yesterday formed a rally and human chain programme in front of National Press Club.

A two-day-long BDF meet started on Monday.

Speakers said that the country was facing great catastrophe caused by climate change, which is the result of high carbon emissions historically by the developed countries. The developed countries are indebted to the people of Bangladesh and they should pay their carbon debt, they added.

They alleged that developed countries are not keeping their commitment in supporting the climate change-affected countries.

They mentioned in the recent years Bangladesh is facing frequent and more intense cyclonic disaster which has clear link with the climate change. Cyclone SIDR in Bangladesh in 2007 caused death of 4000 lives and $ 1.7 billion of economic loss.

Cyclone AILA in Bangladesh in 2009 caused death of 150 lives and $ 1.5 billion of economic loss. But so far Bangladesh has received less than 20 per cent of the economic loss caused by these disasters. Such huge economic fallback was making the country bound to seek fund from the IFIs and other developed countries.

Meantime Bangladesh already indebted in such a way that the country has to pay 20 per cent of its revenue budget as debt servicing liabilities, which is much higher than its annual health and education budget.

Speakers mentioned that debt business, capitalising the climate crisis, by the developed countries was injustice. The developed countries did injustice historically by utilising more atmospheric space and global public goods than their fair shares.

A rally was also simultaneously organised in front of DFID office in London. The rally was jointly organised by World Development Movement (WDM), Jubilee Debt Campaign UK, Friends of the Earth and Christian Aid.

They criticised the role of DFID as this organisation is pressing Government of Bangladesh to allow World Bank to manage multi donor trust fund on climate change. It may be mentioned that, in response to a joint call by Equity BD and WDM, thousands of people in the UK sent e-mail to the UK Prime Minister for not channeling climate funds for Bangladesh through the World Bank. They also called to their government to allocate climate fund in addition to the existing ODA commitment of the UK government.

Moreover, World Bank will take commission to operate the fund which is contrary to the motive behind creating such fund, they said. The protesters said developed nations must increase their official development assistance (ODA) to real sectors where it is so needed without unnecessarily raising debt burden to Bangladesh and at the same time earmark new climate fund to face calamities.

Organisers declared that they would organise similar rally and human chain in front of National Press Club today demanding sovereign, democratic and responsible financing to make aid reaching to poor, transparent and locally accountable.

Mustafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD moderated the rally where Badrul Alam of La Via Campesina, Feroz Ahmed of Lead Trust, Prodip Roy of On Line Knowledge Centre, Shamsuddoha and Rezaul K. Chowdhury of EquityBD also spoke.

From the human chain the organisers released a joint statement developed by twenty-one organisations which include Arpon, AMKS, Eso, Bangladesh Krishak Federation, CSRL, EquityBD, Kishani Shova, Lead Trust, On line Knowledge Centre, Potikrit, La Via Campesina, MFTD, Prantik, Purbasha, RCASV, Swadin Bangla Garments Sramik Federation, Solidarity Workshop, Sirajganj Flood Forum, Uddipan, Voice, EquityBD and World Development Movement -UK.


Developed nations urged to pay back their carbon debt : Civil society protest in Dhaka, London
Staff Correspondent, The Daily New Age, 16 February 2010 

Some 21 civil society organizations called upon the developed country representatives and donors, who are participating in Bangladesh Development Forum, to pay their ‘carbon debt’ as compensation for global warming and climate change.
   The Bangladesh government on Monday began a two-day dialogue with multilateral lenders and donor countries in Dhaka seeking approval of the poverty reduction strategy, a lender-driven development document.
   The rights activists, who also staged a human chain, said that Bangladesh is facing the most catastrophic fall out of climate change, which is the result of high carbon emissions, historically, by the developed countries.
   The protesting rights organizations are — Arpon, AMKS, Eso, Bangladesh Krishak Federation, CSRL, EquityBD, Kishani Shova, Lead Trust, On line knowledge centre, Potikrit, La via campesina, MFTD, Prantik, Purbasha, RCASV, Swadhin Bangla Garments Sramik Federation, Solidarity Workshop, Sirajganj Flood Forum, Uddipan, Voice and World Development Movement, UK.
   They formed the human chain in front of National Press Club to remind the donor and developed country representatives to keep their commitment to help the poor nations in facing the challenge of climate change.
   They expressed their dismay that the developed countries were not keeping their commitment in supporting the countries vulnerable to climate change.
   In a joint statement, they also claimed that the developed countries are indebted to the people of Bangladesh and they should pay their carbon debt.
   Mustafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD, Badrul Alam of La Via Campesina, Feroz Ahmed of Lead Trust, Prodip Roy of On Line Knowledge Centre, and Shamsuddoha and Rezaul K Chowdhury of EquityBD, among others, also spoke at the human chain.
   In the statement they mentioned that in recent years Bangladesh has been facing recurring and more intense cyclonic disasters which have clear link with the climate change.
   Cyclone SIDR in Bangladesh in 2007 took a toll of 4,000 lives and US $ 1.7 billions of in economic loss. Then again cyclone AILA in Bangladesh in 2009 caused death of 150 people and destroyed property worth US $ 1.5 billions.
   But so far Bangladesh has received less then 20 per cent in aid to recover the economic loss caused by these disasters.
   Meanwhile Bangladesh is already indebted in such a way that the country has to pay 20 per cent of its revenue budget as debt servicing liabilities, which is much higher than its annual health and education budget.
   The rights activists mentioned that debt business, capitalizing the climate crisis, by the developed countries was an injustice. The developed countries did injustice historically by utilizing more atmospheric space and global public goods than their fair shares.
   Meanwhile, another rally was also organized in front of the office of Britain’s donor agency, Department for International Development, in London.
   The rally was jointly organized by World Development Movement, Jubilee Debt Campaign UK, Friends of the Earth and Christian Aid.
   They were critical of the role of DFID as this organization is pressing Bangladesh government to allow World Bank to manage the multi-donor trust fund on climate change.
   Besides, in response to a joint call by EquityBD and WDM, thousands of people in the UK sent e-mails to the British Prime Minister for not channelling climate funds for Bangladesh through the World Bank.
   The also called upon the British government to allocate special climate funds in addition to the existing ODA commitment.
   Organisers declared that they would hold a similar rally and human chain in front of national press club on Tuesday, demanding sovereign, democratic and responsible financing to ensure that aid reaches the poor through a transparent and locally accountable means, a press release on Monday said.


কার্বন নিঃসরণে ক্ষতিগ্রস্ত বাংলাদেশকে সহায়তা দেওয়ার দাবিতে গতকাল প্রেসক্লাবের সামনে মানববন্ধন করা হয়। ছবি : বাংলার চোখ, The Daily Kaler Kantha
ঢাকায় মানববন্ধনবাংলাদেশকে কার্বন-ঋণ দেওয়ার দাবি নিজস্ব প্রতিবেদকউন্নত বিশ্বের অতি-মাত্রায় কার্বন নিঃসরণের শিকার বাংলাদেশকে কার্বন-ঋণ পরিশোধের দাবি জানিয়ে গতকাল সোমবার রাজধানীতে মানববন্ধর কর্মসূচি পালন করা হয়েছে। ঢাকায় শুরু হওয়া বাংলাদেশ উন্নয়ন ফোরামের সভা সামনে রেখে ২১টি নাগরিক সংগঠন যৌথভাবে জাতীয় প্রেসক্লাবের সামনে ওই মানববন্ধন করে।
সংগঠনের নেতারা উন্নত রাষ্ট্রগুলোকে তাদের প্রতিশ্রুতির কথা স্মরণ করিয়ে দেন। ইক্যুইটিবিডির সদস্য মোস্তফা কামালের সঞ্চালনায় মানববন্ধন চলার সময়ে বক্তব্য দেন লা-ভিয়া ক্যাম্পেসিনার বদরুল আলম, লিড ট্রাস্টের ফিরোজ আহমেদ, অনলাইন নলেজ সেন্টারের প্রদীপ রায়, ইক্যুইটিবিডির মোঃ সামসুদ্দোহা ও রেজাউল করিম চৌধুরী।
গতকাল ব্রিটিশ সরকারের আন্তর্জাতিক উন্নয়ন সংস্থার (ডিএফআইডি) লন্ডনের কার্যালয়ের সামনেও ওয়ার্ল্ড ডেভেলপমেন্ট মুভমেন্ট, জুবলি ডেব্ট ক্যাম্পেইন-ইউকে, ফ্রেন্ডস অব আর্থ ও ক্রিশ্চিয়ান এইডের উদ্যোগে সমাবেশ করা হয়েছে বলে জানান ঢাকার কর্মসূচির আয়োজকরা। সমন্বিতভাবে বাংলাদেশ ও লন্ডনের কর্মসূচি গতকাল পালন করা হয়।জাতীয় প্রেসক্লাবের সামনে আজ বেলা ১১টায় বিভিন্ন দাতাগোষ্ঠীর দেওয়া আর্থিক সহযোগিতা স্বচ্ছ এবং স্থানীয়ভাবে জবাবদিহিমূলক করার দাবিতে মানববন্ধন কর্মসূচি পালন ও সমাবেশ করা হবে।

Drivers of Economy

Farmers, Workers and Migrant Labours – these three heroes’ made stable our economy during unprecedented economic recession at last two years. The government takes measures to boost the agricultural production to achieve food self-sufficiency to meet local demands. Along with farmers, the migrant’s labourers have a great role to make stability of economy, but the government fails to secure jobs of migrants labourers at foreign countries. The industrial workers particularly the readymade garments workers added their sweat to remain the exports of the country stable without getting their minimum labour rights from the entrepreneurs. The workers of state owned industries face the privatization dogma fearing job losses at every moment.

Recently published Finance ministry report on macro-economic situation briefs that the government’s cash balance up to December 2009 reached Tk.12,000 crore on receipt of more foreign aid and revenue but low expenditure. As per the report, around Tk 39,560 crore or 34.8 percent of the national budget for fiscal year 2009-10 was spent during July-December. The total budget size is Tk 1,13,819 crore. Of the amount already spent, revenue expenditure in the first six months of the current fiscal stood at Tk 30,753 crore, or 36.9 percent of the allocated Tk 83,319 crore. Meantime, the amount spent for the annual development programme (ADP) is Tk 8,807 crore, or 29 percent of the ADP size of Tk 30,500 crore. On revenue earnings, it said Tk 35,115 crore, or 44.2 percent of the targeted amount has been collected. The foreign aid received is Tk 6073 crore. It was Tk 1112 crore in the same period a year ago.


The farmers of Bangladesh produce crops to feed the nation. What are the socio-economic situation of major drivers of econmic like farmers? The government has provided soft loan and subsidies to the farmers for boosting agriculture and the parliamentary committee on agriculture asked the agriculture ministry to introduce crop insurance for farmers to encourage them to increase their crop production. But the farmers do not get fair prices of the crops which they produce due to lack of government initiative.

The agricultural land reduces alamingly and only hope that the parliamentary committee on agriculture takes an initiative to hold a tripartite meeting of the land, agriculture and environment ministries to formulate a law to save the country’s net cropland.

A total of 40,000 landless families are planned to provide khas land an initiative has been taken by Land Ministry of Government. Under this programme the government plans to prodvide khas lands to at least 100 landless families in every upazila by June this year. A total of 40,000 landless families will be provided with lands in this programme. The land minister also says that the government has already arranged land for a total of 14,000 families by December 2009 following its electoral pledge.


The Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the country’s businessmen to help remove the income inequalities between the rich and the poor by generating job opportunities in the industrial sector. “We need to eliminate income inequality for a balanced society. Creating more employment, the businessmen in the private sector can help end such discrimination”. The the government do not take any initiative to revise the existing minimum wages of workers while living cost increases double within last two years.

An alarming news published at newspaper which says five sugar mills like Joypurhat, Pabna, Natore, North Bengal and Rajshahi sugar mills have suspended cane crashing due to a shortfall in sugarcane production. Another five mills in Dinajpur, Thakurgaon, Panchagarh, Shampur and Rangpur are likely to face closure for the same reason. All the 15 sugar mills in the country produce around 2.1 lakh tonnes of sugar against national demand for around 12-14 lakh tonnes a year.

The acute shortage of sugarcane forced growers into other cultivable crops. Moreover, farmers also incurred losses in previous years despite a record production  of sugarcane as they failed to get proper prices. Sugarcane prices have been fixed this season at Tk 66 a maund at mill gate and Tk 64.50 at outer centres by the government.

The mismanagement of state-owned industries should be counted while privatisation dogma waiting to see the looser profile of these industries to privatise these industries. From experiences of privatisation of state owned companies were not set any example to make profit and increases jobs rather it proved that any privatised industries could able to continue production which reduces of unemployment of the country.  

Migrant Labourers

Remittance crosses $10 billion mark for the first time in Bangladesh history in the year 2009 because migrants, a main driver of the country’s economic progress, sent more money home despite all odds during global recession. With 20 percent growth, remittance inflow reached $10.72 billion last year, although the year marked a fall in manpower exports. In 2008, the remittance was $8.97 billion. The overseas employment ministry data shows that the number of migrant workers declined 46 percent to 475,278 persons in January-December of 2009. In 2008, the number was 875,055.

The monthly average number of the workers going abroad with jobs almost halved last year from around 80,000 persons in 2008. Still, the remittance inflow grew 20 percent, turning down World Bank forecast of 12-15 percent such growth for 2009. The international lender in a recent report expressed its fear about low growth on the basis of the declining trend of manpower exports.

In first 8 months of this year (The daily Somokal, dated 13 September 2009), manpower export decreases 47.10 percent than same period of last year; but the remittance flow increases 17.08 percents. Experts say that manpower export reduces due to global economic recession, mal-practices of man-power recruitment agencies and lack of proper initiatives of government.

Period Manpower Export (Person) Remittance Earning (Tk)
January – August 2008 618,806 412,469,500,000(592,421,428.57 USD)
January – August 2009 327,359 482,902,500,000(6,898,607,142.86 USD)
Reduced (-)/Increased (+) – 291,447 (47.09%) +70,433,000,000 (17.8%)

Foreign Loan and Loan Payment

 Period Foreign Loan Received by Govt. Govt. Paid to Creditor Remain (Net) Amount of Foreign Loan
First 6 Month2009-10 130,40,00,000 *45,58,00,000 84,82,00,000
First 6 Month,2008-09 107,00,00,000 ** 88,00,00,000

All Amount in USD, Source: The Daily Ittefaq, 05 February 2010, * Original Loan: USD 35,87,00,000 + Interest: USD 9,71,00,000 = Total: USD 45,58,00,000, ** Data is not available

The above data shows that the government should invest their energies to secure overseas employment rather securing foreign loans. But the migrants labourers face difficulties at foreign lands due to mal-practices of some man-power recruiting agencies. The government should take some bold steps to major employer countries to ensure job security of migrants labouers. 

Report from the UN : Measuring national progress

Joseph Stiglitz put it well: “What you measure affects what you do…if you don’t measure the right thing you don’t do the right thing.” So how should we judge the progress of a nation?

The much-quoted Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a tally of goods and services bought and sold with no distinction between transactions that add to well-being and those that diminish it. A car accident that creates business for hospitals, insurers, lawyers and auto repair shops increases the GDP. So does economic activity that damages the environment. But household and volunteer work, which improve our well-being, aren’t counted if no money is exchanged.

The man who created the GDP, New Deal economist Simon Kuznets warned us not to use it as the sole measure of a nation’s health. As he told Congress, “Distinctions must be kept in mind between quantity and quality of growth, between cost and returns and between the short and the long run. Goals for more growth should specify more growth of what for what.” We would also add “for whom.” The GDP includes no measure of income distribution. For example from 1973 to 1993 the GDP of the United State rose by over 50 percent while wages declined by almost 14.

The GDP was better than no measure at all. During World War II, it allowed policymakers to track production for the war and it now gives us useful information on consumer purchases, which are linked to new jobs. But the GDP should not be our sole measure of progress.

The current economic crisis has spurred renewed interest in finding alternatives. Last year President Sarkozy of France created a Commission on the Measurent of Economic Performance and Social Progress. Nobel laureates Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen, who serve on the commission, have both urged that new assessment tools incorporate a broader concern for human welfare than just economic growth.

Several new ways to measure national progress have been proposed:

  • The Genuine Progress Indicator adjusts the GDP for changes in income distribution, adds the value of household and volunteer work and subtracts for crime and pollution.
  • The Gross National Happiness measure includes subjective and objective indicators such as sustainable development, preservation of cultural values, conservation of the natural environment and good governance. This idea comes from King Wangchuck, the former ruler of Bhutan.
  • The Happy Planet Index combines subjective life satisfaction,based on surveys, life expectancy and environmental impact as measured by the ecological footprint which is based on a complicated formula relating to CO2 emissions and the use of natural resources.

The trouble with these and other indexes is that they include data that require interpretation.

The founding charter of the United Nations calls for the promotion of social progress and a better standard of life. The UN publishes a yearly Human Development Report (HDR), which tabulates each member country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product—the dollar value of all the goods and services produced by a nation that year—as well as measures of life expectancy, education, health, nutrition, sanitation, the availability of clean water, gender discrimination and the distribution of income. The aim of the HDR is to track how development affects daily life. To measure progress, the United Nations frequently refers to the Human Development Index (HDI) which combines GDP, life expectancy, and educational level. As an example, Oman, which has a very high GDP per capita, but relatively low educational levels, ranks 58th,lower in HDI than Uruguay, which has about 60 percent of its GDP and has rank 46.

It’s time to measure what is most important: improvements in national well-being.

Dr. Sylvain Ehrenfeld, representative to the UN from the International Humanist Ethical Union and Temma Ehrenfeld. Dr. Ehrenfeld writes a monthly column reporting on developments at the United Nations.

MEETING OF Ad hoc committee of GEJF

Meeting Brief
Ad hoc Working Committee Global Economic Justice Forum (GEJF)
Held at INCIDIN Office, Dhaka | November 01, 2008


Agenda: Transformation of GEJF into Bangladesh Social Forum:

  • The committee decided that transformation of GEJF is not a relevant concern for initiation of Bangladesh Social Forum process. So this agenda should be dropped for further discussions on any of these two forums.
  • However both forums can exist side by side considering the merits and mandates of these two.
  • Regarding Bangladesh Social Forum process, further communication will be made from a separate National Facilitation Team to be convened by Md. Hilaluddin as per the proposal came from the members of the working committee.

Meeting Participants

  • Karmojibi Nari – Abdullah Al Mamun
  • APIT – Tahmina Yasmin
  • WAVE – Mohsin Ali
  • SUPRO – Prodip Roy
  • VOICE – Ahmed Swapan
  • BARCIK – Kamruzzaman Sagar
  • ActionAid – A.R. Aaman
  • Sadhin Bangla Garments SKF – Shamima Nasrin and MAK Azad
  • INCIDIN – Ratan Sarkar
  • Angikar – Md. Hilaluddin


  • Roots: Moslehuddin Swapan

Global Economic Justice Forum (GEJF)

Brief Report of the Meeting of Global Economic Justice Forum (GEJF)
September 02, 2008 | Venue: BARCIK Office, Dhaka


·        How   could we carry forward the GEJF process?

Discussions and Decisions


Mr. Sukanto from BARCIK welcomed everyone and the house requested Mr. Mohsin from Governance Coalition to preside over the meeting. Then Aamanur Rahman from ActionAid Bangladesh discussed briefly about agenda of the meeting. Regarding the GEJF process, two kinds of statement were found and discussed. Some participants said GEJF should be an annual forum for the anti-neoliberal activists and should be a platform for culmination of experiences and innovation around the economic justice issues. Some others said only a single event can not culminate all these activism and there should have series of actions throughout the year. Some other emphasized the importance of these two side by side, as only an annual event can not sustain the issues and on the other hand a structured process will give it a project look which will be additional burden for the whole members/ organizers.

Finally it was suggested by the house that a small working group would be formed to work on this issue along with the modalities to run the forum effectively. This group will sit on 08-09-08 at 3.00pm at WAVE office, Lalmatia, Dhaka. The house proposed the following persons as volunteers of the ad hoc working committee. The committee will place their suggestions by this month through email notification. After Eid vacation a general meeting will be summoned to discuss on the proposals. This ad hoc committee will keep functioning only up till next general meeting.

Ad hoc Working Committee Volunteers:

  1. Mr. Sukanto – BARCIK
  2. Ratan Sarkar – INCIDIN
  3. Ahmed Swapan – VOICE
  4. Prodip Roy – SUPRO
  5. Maliha Shahjahan – APIT
  6. Md. Hilaluddin – Angikar Bd
  7. Shamima Nasrin – Sadhin Bangla GSKF
  8. Asgar Ali Sabri – ActionAid Bangladesh
  9. Mohsin Ali – WAVE/ Governance Coalition
  10. Mosleh Uddin Sapan – ROOTS
  11. Shirin Akter – Karmojibi Nari 

 Meeting  Participants

  1. Mir Abul Kalam Azad, Sadhin Bangla
  2. Shamima Nasrin,  Sadhin Bangla
  3. T alib Bashar Nayan – Unnayan Dhara
  4. Kamruzzaman Sagar – BARCIK
  5. A. R. Aaman – ActionAid Bd
  6. Sharifuzzaman Sharif – Nagorik Sanghati
  7. Mohsin Ali – Wave Foundation
  8. Faizullah Choudhury – BUP
  9. Sk Giasuddin Shuvro – PSTC
  10. Feroza Begum – Bachte Shekho Nari
  11. Maliha Shahjahan – APIT
  12. Ratan Sarkar – INCIDIN
  13. Farhat Jahan – ActionAid Bd
  14. Sukanto Sen – BARCIK
  15. Farzana Akhter – VOICE
  16. Abdur Rashid – Angikar Bd
  17.  Khalid Hossain – Rupayan/ Jute Protection Committee
  18. A lamgir Islam Lablu -SPS
  19. Marufia Nur Shifa – Karmojibi nari
  20. M oslemUddin Sapan – Roots
  21. Jakir Hossain – JJS
  22. Prodip Roy – SUPRO 

Gopal, My School Mate

Gopal, my school mate. We read in the same High School Together. I leave my village in 1987 for higher study, but Gopal stays at home and obtains college degree from Local College. Now He is working in local NGOs and his monthly salary is only Tk.4200 (US$60), Only US$2 per day. It is an income of the man, who have a college degree, who was a bright student once. 

How is the income of illiterate persons, casual workers, daily laborer’s, who haven’t any alternative skills but only two hands? I know, the men also my neighbors who earns less than US$0.50 per day. I work in the capital and every day I speak about poor people as many educated man do. But my poor neighbors becomes ultra poor, live without any life.

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