BNP raps govt over low transit fee for India

Staff Correspondent

Bangladesh Nationalist Party leaders on Friday castigated the government for allowing India to transport its goods using Bangladesh land with what it said low transit fee and said there was no alternative to launching a movement to establish a government accountable to people.
The BNP leaders came up with the statements in separate programmes held in the capital to observe 35th death anniversary of the late president Ziaur Rahman, founder of BNP, to be observed on May 30.
BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi at another programme said the government sold out the country’s ‘soul’ by providing India transit facility with what he said low fee.
He said the government was putting the country’s sovereignty at stake day by day.
He said India would use Bangladeshi land for transporting its goods paying only Tk 192 per tonne whereas, he said, the core committee of Bangladesh Tariff Commission fixed the amount at Tk 1,058.
He alleged that the government fixed the fee at Tk 192 ignoring the commission’s recommendation.
Rizvi termed it ‘ill-motivated’ and compared it with selling out the country’s independence at this low price.
He condemned the ‘conspiracy to weaken the country’s sovereignty in the name of transit.’
He was addressing a discussion at National Press Club organised by Swadhinata Fourm.
Rizvi said Tk 192 fee is not a fee for transporting goods but ‘support fee’ to an unelected government to protect it.
He said people wanted to know contents of agreement signed between Bangladesh and Indian governments in 2010 and asked the government to disclose to people at what price it sold out the country’s independence.
He underscored the need for unity of all nationalist forces to overcome such situation.
Otherwise the country’s independence and sovereignty would be jeopardised, he warned.
Rizvi condemned filing of sedition case against the party joint secretary general, Aslam Chowdhury, terming it ‘conspiratorial’.
He said no conspiracy against the government took place in India. Israeli Likud party leader Mendi N Safadi made it clear, he added.
BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan said now there was no alternative to forging democratic movement to get rid of the bad news of murder, accident, repression and injustice that were taking place every day and for restoring democracy.
He said democratically elected government, which would be accountable to people, must be established to stop all these maladies.
He was addressing a discussion at National Press Club organised by Jatiyatabadi Swechchhasebak Dal, volunteers’ wing of BNP.
He urged the party leaders and activists to join movements under the leadership of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia to restore democracy, implement ideals of Ziaur Rahman and establish a government accountable to people.
He said there was no democracy in the country as an unelected government was in power, while opposition-backed elected mayors were languishing in jail.
He said banks, share market and even Bangladesh Bank were plundered.
Nazrul demanded investigation into all crimes.
Swechchhasebak Dal senior vice president Munir Hossain presided over the discussion also addressed by Mahila Dal general secretary Shirin Sultana, Swechchhasebak Dal leaders Saiful Islam Patu, Aminul islam and Akheruzzman Bachhu.

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