UN chief, WB president to visit Rohingyas
12:00 AM, June 19, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:24 AM, June 19, 2018

UN chief, WB president to visit Rohingyas

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim are likely to visit Rohingya refugee camps in Cox's Bazar soon, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday.

They may arrive in Bangladesh on June 30 for a two-day official visit, according to officials.

During the spring meeting of the WB in Washington in April, Jim Yong Kim hinted that he would probably visit Bangladesh, Muhith told reporters at his secretariat office.

The WB chief may announce a grant of $200 million while visiting Cox's Bazar, a finance ministry official said.

The WB would give between $400 and $500 million in phases for Rohingyas sheltered in Cox's Bazar, Muhith said.

The Asian Development Bank may also give between $300 and $400 million for the refugees. Half of the amount would be considered grant, the minister said.

On an earlier occasion, Qimiao Fan, WB director for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal told The Daily Star about Jim Yong's likely visit to Bangladesh.

Up to February, Bangladesh received $400 million in grant from several international bodies and countries.

The UN demanded $950 million for Rohingyas in February. The UN has so far received 20 percent of the amount.

Since August last year, about 700,000 Rohingyas have fled a military crackdown in Myanmar and started living in refugee camps in Cox's Bazar.

BRINGING SCHOOLS UNDER MPO

Muhith said an amount has been set aside in the budget to bring in a maximum of 1,000 secondary schools under Monthly Pay Order scheme in the next fiscal year.

No new school was brought under the MPO scheme over the last seven years.

“We kept an allocation,” Muhith said, “I will give half the amount for MPO and half for infrastructure improvement of the schools.”

He also slammed the MPO scheme, saying the system only benefitted teachers.

The scheme is a worthless programme, he said.

A finance ministry official said a total of Tk432 crore was allocated for bringing schools under the MPO scheme in the next fiscal year.

BANKING SECTOR ISSUES

Lawmakers have been criticising Muhith bitterly over corruption in the banking sector and cutting corporate tax of financial institutions and banks.

When asked, Muhith told reporters, “It is my decision that I will not comment on this.

“Unfortunately, only the banking sector will enjoy the reduced corporate tax. What can be done?”

ON CPD OBSERVATIONS

The reports of the Centre for Policy Dialogue on financial issues are not bad, but their presentation was disappointing, he said.

“The analyses are very good. We have incorporated many CPD recommendations in the budget.”

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