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IndexDhaka, 4th June 2016. Today 28 civil society, labour and farmers organizations in a joint rally and human chain, today in front of national press club, criticize the Finance Minister and the govt. that the proposed national budget 2016 – 17 was blind to the 40 millions coastal people and their 24 districts. They said that there was no mentioning of climate change impact especially the impact of last 23rd May cyclone Roanu which have had devastating impact in 19 costal districts, taken 23 lives and around 20 millions of people living open sky and with little drinking water now, especially the Kutubdia Island in the verge of extinction. They have demanded, government must consider sustainable infrastructure like concrete block embankment and dike to protect coastal lands and people from cyclone and monsoon tidal surge as another one priority project in the budget 2016-17.
The position paper of the group was read out by Sayed Aminul Haque of EquityBD, where they have given specific eight demands in this regard, where major demands are (i) allocation of taka 6.5 thousand corore to protect Coxsbazar coastal area including Kutubdia island from cyclone and tidal surge, (ii) allocation of taka 6 thousand corore to protect the Bhola island districts from river erosion, (iii) reformation of water dev board to make it officials accountable to local upazila and zila parishad, ensure transparency and people participation in their work, (iv) engage armed forces for critical construction especially in Kutubdia and Bhola island, (v) undertaking protection infrastructure of coastal people and land as one priority mega project from this fiscal year of 2016-17.
The rally was moderated by Mostafa Kamal Akhanda of EquityBD, speakers of the rally were Advocate Shafiqul Islam Swapan of Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of COAST Trust, Mrs Jahanara Begum of Bangladesh Kishani Shoba, Mr Abdul Majid of Bangladesh Farm Labour Federation, Mr Mihir Biswas of Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon, Mr Subol Sarkar of Bangladesh Bhumihin Somity, Mr Aminur Rasul Babul of Unnayan Dhara Trust, and Mr Muhin Howladar of Jubo Krishok Union. Leaded by COAST Trust co organizers of the rally were Online Knowledge Society, Arpon, Uddipan, Udyan Bangladesh, Unnayan Dhara Trust, SDS, Krishasni Shova, Grameen Jono Unnayan Sangsta, Jatiya Krishani Sromik Shomiti, Jatiya Sramik Jote, Dak Diye Jai, Docap, Dwip Unnayan Sangsta, Nolcity Model Society, Phals, Pirojpur Gono Unnayan Shomity, PRAN, Prantojon, PSI Bangladesh, Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Bangladesh Bhumihin Shomity, Bangladesh Agriculture Labor Farm Association, Labor Resource Centre, Sangkalpa Trust, Songram, CDP and Humanity Watch.
In conclusion of the rally Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of COAST said that government must concede the future climate change problem and take protection and adaptation measures now, otherwise even infrastructure for growth will be jeopardy.

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Index29th April 2016. Today right groups has organized a human chain and a rally in front of national press club and different student and photography organizations has organized a photography exhibition in Teachers and Student Centre (TSC) Dhaka University DU), to remember the devastating cyclone of 29th April 1991 Marian, which was category 5 caused around 0.5 million deaths in coastal regions of Bangladesh and they have also demanded that government must not wait for foreign fund and urged to take immediate step to construct embankment to protect coastal people and land which should be the fundamental to climate adaptation. They have criticized the government as they said government is over emphasizing infrastructure to export led economic growth rather than giving importance to critical infrastructure to protect coastal people and land, they have also demanded reform in Water Development Board which is the responsible government agency to construct coastal embankment.
Rally in front of national press club was organized by 16 coastal organizations, namely Uddipan, Uddayan Bangladesh, MMC, SDS, Coast Trust, Grameen Jono Unnayan Sangsta, Dak Diye Jai, Docap, Dwip Unnayan Sangster, Nolicity Model Soceity, PHALS, Pirojpur Gono Unnayan Somitee, PRAN, Prantojon, Sangkalpa Trust, Humanity Watch, the rally was moderated by Mostafa Kamal Akhanda of Coast Trust, speakers of the rally was Shawkat Ali Tutul, Zayed Iqbal Khan , Aminu Rasul Babul and Rezaul Karim Chowdhury. Photography exhibition of prominent photographer Din M Shibly has been organized in TSC, DU was organized by Leaves and Branches, Dhaka University Photography Society, Dhaka University Environment Society, Dhaka University Cultural Society, Dhaka University Tourist Society, Environment Move, Coast Trust and EquityBD. The photography exhibition title “A Tale from Climate Ground Zero” was inaugurated by Pro Vice Chancellor Dr Shahid Akhter Hossain; other speakers of exhibition are Din M Shibly and Rezaul Karim Chowdhury from COAST Trust.
Rezaul Karim Chowdhury from COAST Trust mentioned, government is blind to export led growth so the coastal areas still unsafe and people have to migrate in town where they became slum dwellers and working as house maid, day labor, garments worker or rickshaw pullers, i.e. engaging them in low paid job, moreover government hardly looking in the loss of lands making the country’s food security unstable, this is a sort of exploitation by elites and ruling classes of Bangladesh to the coastal population. He said that country has capacity to do sustainable embankment in coastal area with own resources, but there are hardly any political will. He also blame international NGO, donor darling consultants and donors that they are making coastal vulnerability simply for aid marketing. Shawkat Ali Tutul propose 8 proposals to reform Water Development Board including making it accountable to upazila and zila parishad and integrating transparency and participation of the agency to the local people and local government. Dr Shahid Pro VC of Dhaka University said that, we must have to investee resources from our own to protect the coastal people and land first.

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IndexDhaka 23rd April 2016. Today Equity and Justice Working Group Bangladesh (EquityBD) has organized a seminar in National Press Club title “Post Paris Implications: Priority Actions for Climate Adaptation in National Budget and Planning”, where speakers emphasized for separate institutions and priority allocation to take critical infrastructure to protect coastal lands and its people.
The seminar was chaired by Dr Ahsan Uddin of CGC, Chief Guest of the seminar was Mr AKM Jahangir MP and Ex Minister. The seminar was moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdury of EquityBD. Key note presentation was given by Syed Aminul Haque of EquityBD, other speakers of the seminar were, Mr AKM Sajahan Kamal MP from Lakshmipur, Advocate Tipu Sultan MP from Barisal, and Mr. Mir Mostaq Ahmed Robi MP from Sathkhira. Among the civil society speakers there were Dr. Khalid Hossain from CCDB, Mrs. Sharmind Neelormi from CSRL, Dr Abdul Matin from BAPA, Mr. Shamsuddoha of CPRD, Mr Zakir Hossain Khan from TIB, Mr Sayed Jahangir Hossaiin Masum from CDP and Mr Qumrul Islam Chowdhury the General Secretary National Press Club and Preside FEJB.
Sayed Aminul Haque of EquityBD in his key note presentation mentioned that, poverty definition need to be changed in view of per capita has increased and new dimension of climate vulnerability has increased what India recently did. Seventh five year plan (7th FYP) being prepared without any such vulnerability analysis and there by climate adaptation in sectoral panning. There are hardly any allocation for embankment from t national exchequer, govt is relying on loan money for this solely from World Bank and Asian Dev Bank. Mr Sajahan Kamal, Advocate Tipu Sultan and Mir Mostaq Ahmed all three MPs pleaded for separate institution like char or coastal board or separate ministry for protecting coastal people. Syed Jahangir Masum of CDP demand a separate land use planning for coastal areas. Mr. Shamsuddoha mentioned that protecting coastal people from displacement in not only a human right but also a justice issue. Dr. Khalid Hossain of CCDB demands that, there should be coordination among all climate strategic plans.
Dr Abdul Marin of BAPA raised the appropriateness of preparation process of Delta plan with the help of foreign consultant; he cautions that without transboundary water sharing agreement such a delta plan will not work. Mr. Zakir Hossain Kahn of TIB said govt must ensure transparency and accountability of its key institution in respect of climate finance and implementation taking learning from two fund management, otherwise getting foreign assistance in this regard will be in jeopardy. Mrs. Sharmind Neelormi of CSRL mentioned that govt must take plan ensure drinking water supply in coastal areas. Mr AKM Jahangir said that Water Dev Board has to be reformed and in its planning local people’s participation must be ensured. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD mentioned, without embankment there will be no sense of security among coastal people that they will decide to flee. Dr Ahsan Uddin of CGC and the Chair of the session concluded that there must be allocation in climate trust fund but simultaneously climate strategic planning has to be updated and there must be investigation that why the Environment and Forest Ministry failed to manage climate trust fund.
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IndexTwelve Farmers’ Organizations term the WTO treaty on agri-subsidies withdrawal suicidal for Bangladesh,
Demanded special measures in the 2016-17 budget to ensure sustainable food security.
Today 12 farmers’ organizations have termed the recent WTO treaty on subsidy withdrawal from agriculture as suicidal for the food security of Bangladesh. They were speaking from a human chain and rally held today in front of the national press club. They said, the 10th Ministerial Conference of World Trade Organization (WTO) has decided to bring an end to agriculture subsidies. Developing countries will remove subsidies within 2023, Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and net food-importing countries will do that within 2030. It means countries like Bangladesh has to stop all its supports towards agriculture. It will lead Bangladesh may be to remove almost a full ministry called Ministry of Agriculture that is providing various extension supports to the agriculture sector.
The human chain titled ‘Is govt prepared for post subsidy era, saving small farmers, and to gain sustained self sufficiency’ was jointly organized by Bangladesh Krishak Federation, Bangladesh Bhumihin Samity, Bangladesh Agricultural Farm Labour Federation, Labour Resource Center, Kendrio Krishok Moitri, Bangladesh Kishani Shova, Bangladesh Krishak Federation (JI) , Bangladesh Adibasi Somity, Bangaldesh Fish Workers’ Alliacne, Haor farmers and fishers alliance, National Women farmers and workers Association and COAST. Mustafa Kamal Akand of COAST Trust moderated the human chain. Among others Badrul Alam of Bangaldesh Krishak Federtaion, Subal Sarker of Bangladesh Bhumihin Somity, Jayed Iqbal Khan of Bangladesh Krishak Federation, Anupom Mahmud of Haor farmers and Fishers Alliance and Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of COAST Trust also spoke at the occasion.
On behalf of the organizers Md. Mujibul haque Munir of COAST Trust placed specific recommendations from the human chain, these are: (i) implementation of strong laws controlling commercialization of agricultural lands to save small farmers land and to refrain marginalized farmers from selling their lands, (ii) introduction of cooperative farming to save the small scale farmers, govt. incentives must be there to save the small scale farmers (iii) Establishment of sustainable embankments in coastal areas must get priorities to save the coastal farmers from river erosion, flash flood and sea level rising (iv) implementation of strong and effective market mechanism so that farmers access and control over the marker established, (v) enhanced capacities of public sector in seeds productions and distribution, more allocation for BADC must be ensured, (vi) We demand extension of sustainable and eco-friendly agricultural technologies.
Rezaul Karim said, in one hand it is said that country has become food surplus country and we are exporting food and food import is also going, what is the reality then? Agriculture of Bangladesh can’t be treated same as the developed countries. Developed countries have been able to enhance capacities of their farmers with huge subsidies and technical support. They have become industrial now. So, withdrawal of subsidy in developed countries and in Bangladesh can’t have same impact. Subal Sarkar said, USA provides BDT 3 lakh to farmers per day, it provides 400 million dollar per day as agri subsidy, in Europe one farmer gets 6 dollar per day while in Bangladesh one farming family gets only 90 dollar per year! Hence, we are continuously forced to withdraw subsidies. This is just to create their agri products market to our market and to make our agriculture sector dependent to their companies. Badrul Alam said, we can remember that in 2008 we could not manage food even having money with us. They way the agriculture is becoming controlled by some multinational companies; in near future food stocks will be controlled by the monopoly of some companies. We will have to be very careful about. We will have to take measures right now to cope with the emerging situation. Anupom Mahmdud said, our food security has to be secured by us, and that is why we will determine our agriculture policy.

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index_77Dhaka, 25th April 2015. Today from a human chain 23 right based civil society organizations urge the government to reconsider IMF prescriptions on VAT law. They also demanded cancellation of new VAT law which proposes 15% flat rate for all good and commodities. They think, this new law will increase poverty and it will create hindrances towards the development of small and medium entrepreneurships in the country.

The human chain was organized in front of the National Press Club by Arpan, Oline knowledge society, COAST Trust, EquityBd, Udayan Bangladesh, Bangladesh Labour Federation, SDO, Coastal Development Partnership, Kishani Sobha, DOCAP, National Labour Alliance, Nature Campaign Bangladesh, Prantojon, BAFLF, Bangladesh Krishak Federation, Voice, labour Resource Centre, Sirajgonj Flood Forum, Sangram, Synergy Institute and Humanity Watch.

The human chain was moderated by Mustafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD while Ahsanul Karim from the same organization presented the key note on behalf of the organizers. Among others Badrul Alam of Bangladesh Krishak Federation, Subal Sarkar of Bangladesh Bhumihin Somity, Sanat K Bhowmik of COAST Trust and Zayed Iqbal Khan of Bangladesh Krishak Federation also spoke on the occasion.

Ahsanul Karim said, Bangladesh government finalized the VAT law in 2012 according to IMF prescription which is supposed to be effective from financial year of 2015-2016. This law proposes 15% flat rate which will result prices hikes of various essentials. IMF does not make this type of prescription for the welfare of countries like Bangladesh; rather intention of these prescriptions is to ensure interests of multinational companies.

Badrul Alam said, the new VAT law will create additional burden for the farmers and agriculture of Bangladesh. Direct tax must be collected form multinational companies rather than imposing new tax burden for the poor. Various multinational companies are evading taxes using various techniques. For example, four cell phone operators have evaded about 3100 crore taka, British American Tobacco evaded 1924 crore taka. These taxes have to be collected

Subal Sarkar said, the main intention of IMF is not development, rather to bring Bangladesh in the trap of loan. Their prescriptions in various countries have been failed. 18 Sub-Saharan countries are implementing VAT laws according to IMF prescription, but they have been failed clearly to achieve the goals of making the tax-GDP ratio 18-20%. Research shows, tax-GDP ratio in these countries have been decreased!

Sanat Kumar Bhowmik said, contribution of direct tax in Bangladesh is lower than other developing countries. In India direct tax is 35% of total revenue collection, Sri Lanka 38%, in rich countries it is about 70%. Focus should be given on direct tax rather than to indirect taxes like VAT, because these taxes impose additional burden on poor people.

Some other demands have also been placed from the human chain such as, no expansion of VAT on essentials, separate tax unit formation, Tax ombudsman, reduction of non-development expenditures, string actions against black money.

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IndexDhaka, 3 August 2014: Today in a press conference at the National Press Club 12 right based organizations urge the Trade Minister of Bangladesh to strongly stand for the food security of the poor through agriculture price support, public stockpiling of grain and subsidised distribution of food among the poor people before the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) takes over. They also said that along with the G-33 countries India is leading the fight in WTO in favour of the developing and least developed countries and we should support it.

The press conference express solidarity with the garment workers in Hunger Strike until death for their due salary and benefits since the Eid Day. It is expected the government would take action to release all the due salaries in no time.

The press conference titled “Trade Minister to stand for the permanent solution for food security and agriculture raised by India in WTO: Food and Agriculture should out of profit led trade” held in Dhaka today is moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD while Barkat Ullah Maruf reads out the written position paper. The other speakers are Aminur Rasul Babul of Unnayan Dhara Trust, Jibanananda Jayanta of Surokkha O Agragoti Foundation, Shobnom Hafiz of Somaj, Mustafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD and Shibly Anwar of Labour Resource Center.

The joint organizers of the press conference are Online Knowledge Society, EquityBD, Unnayan Dhara Trust, Krishani Shova, Coastal Development Partnership, Jatyio Sromik Jote, Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Bangladesh Krishi Farm Sromik Federation, Bangladesh Vumihin Samity, Somaj, Surokkha O Agragoti Foundation and Humanity Watch.

In the written speech Barkat Ullah Maruf said, if Trade Facilitation Agreement takes place there will be no Duty Free Quota Free (DFQF) market access in the near future. But LDCs like Bangladesh are repeatedly given false pledges of this unreal DFQF in exchange of TFA though these countries and their poor people have no benefit from the TFA. This is how WTO is serving the developed countries and their giant companies.

Jibanananda Jayanta of Surokkha O Agragoti Foundation said in his speech, the famine in 1974 broke out in Bangladesh was solely due to the international food politics that killed several hundred thousand people. He also said, we shouldn’t trust the developed world anymore for they broke their promise every time. In the implementation of the MDGs we achieved several goals but developed countries completely failed to keep their promise of international cooperation for development. So, there is every chance of breaking the promise once their interest of TFA is fulfilled.

Aminur Rasul Babul said in his speech, Bangladesh delegation didn’t support the food security issue raised in the WTO’s 9th Ministerial in Bali for the hope of the DFQF market access for the readymade garments to the developed countries. But we should say that we failed to figure out the importance of the food security and our agricultural rights over the false hope of DFQF.

Rezaul Karim Chowdhury in his speech said, Bangladesh is losing 88 thousand hectors of agricultural land every year due to river erosion, climate change, urbanization and unplanned developments of roads and highways. On the other hand, he said, our population is increasing. We are afraid to imagine how we’ll achieve the food sufficiency for the heavily increased population after 20 years. What if other countries deny selling food grains even if we have enough money? He said, therefore, agriculture and food security is the most important issue for us right now and we should support the Indian call in WTO without any hesitation.

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index_photo_22Dhaka, 1st July 2014. Today twelve right based civil society organizations including farmers and labour organizations organized a human chain and rally in front of national press club and urged political consensus among major two parties instead of the blame game on the issue of illicit financial flow. They also urged government to publish white paper on the issue and to initiate bilateral agreements with Switzerland and other countries on in this regard and to stop illicit financial flow as the developed countries are doing nowadays.

The rally was mainly participated by Online Knowledge Society, Arpon, EquityBD, Unnayan Dhara Trust, MKS, Kishani Shova, Coastal Development Partnership, Jatiya Sromik Jote, Development Synergy Institute, Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Bangladesh Bhumihin Somity, Somaj, Bangladesh Agriculture Labor Federation and Sangsoptok. The speech session of the rally was moderated by Mosafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD while the other speakers were Syed Aminul Haque of EquityBD, Subol Sarkar of Bhumihin Somity, Golam Sarwar of Bangladesh Agricultural Labour Federation, Badurl Alam of Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Aminur Rasul Babul of Unnayan Dhara Trust and Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD.

The group in its printed leaflet said that the illicit financial flow from Bangladesh towards other countries is much easier than sending money through official channels. When the illicit financial flows from developed countries to Switzerland is declining at a record low rate, the same from the poor countries like Bangladesh is skyrocketing. Deposits by Bangladeshi citizens at various Swiss Banks rose by 62% year-on-year in 2013. There are information of illicit financial flow to Canada and Malaysia too.

To comply with the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) principles Switzerland offered Bangladesh DTAA (Double Taxing Avoidance and Agreement) during 2007 where Bangladesh should have asked for including bank accounts information but the then government didn’t show any interest for that clause. The Swiss Finance Minister said to the House of Representatives in a press release dated 23rd September 2009, “Bangladesh has not been interested in an amendment. It is a typical example of a country saying that it is not interested, or not yet interested, in the OECD standard (tax information exchange on request).” It is a shame for the nation.

Golam Sarwar of Bangladesh Agricultural Labor Federation said that it is the poor migrant workers who send money from abroad and it is our poor garment workers earned foreign currencies and enriched our remittance but it is the corrupt political leaders and bureaucrats who transferred those hard-earned foreign currencies through illicit ways. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquiyBD said that law and agreements might help to reduce this illicit flow but until and unless there are a sense of security among people and businessman, illicit flow will not stop. The political parties primarily must to stop confrontational politics in this regard, he added.

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Index_photo_22Dhaka 26th June 2014. Today seven civil society right based networks express concern on the government’s non-allocation in climate fund in the proposed budget of FY 2014-15 and the silence of environment ministry about climate planning and international negotiation process. They said that this approach will give wrong signal to the international community about the country’s climate related program.

The groups have organized a press conference in national press club titled “Government Kept Silence on Climate Issues might give Wrong Signal to National and International Community” today. The organizers are Bangladesh Poribesh Andolan (BAPA), Bangladesh Indigenous People’s Network on Climate Change and Bio-Diversity (BIPNetCCBD), Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood (CSRL), Climate Change Development Forum (CCDF), Coastal Development Partnership (CDP), Coastal Livelihood and Environmental Action Network (CLEAN), Somaj and Equity and Justice Working Group Bangladesh (EquityBD).

EquityBD’s Chief Moderator Rezaul Karim Chowdhury moderated the press conference while the other speakers are Dr Abdul Matin of BAPA, Pychimong Marma of BIPNetCCBD, Sobnom Hafiz of Somaj, Mostafa Kamal Akanda from EquityBD.

While presenting the keynote paper on behalf of the group, Sayd Aminul Haque of EquityBD said that the International community appreciated the government’s initiative of establishing Bangladesh Climate Change Strategic Action Plan (BCCSAP) 2009 which is supported by Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund (BCCTF) from the country’s own fund as an advance national footstep for climate adaptation and financing. But in the current proposed budget neither the Finance Minister allocated any money for BCCTF nor he mentioned anything regarding climate-planning process in his speech. In fact, which might result counterproductive images of the country both in national and international level?

Dr Abdul Matin of BAPA mentioned that civil society criticizes corruption in climate fund but it does not mean that civil society is against the fund. The government should go for democratic and corruption free trust fund in this regard and must review and update the climate change strategic planning document like BCCSAP which is prepared in 2009.

Pychimong Marma of BIPNetCCBD describes the worsening climate impacts in Chittagong Hill Tracts that there is hardly any funding for climate adaptation for that particular area. He also expresses concern on concept of carbon trading.

Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD and the moderator of the press conference demanded a pro-active roadmap from the government and Environment Ministry on how it would apply in the global GCF (Green Climate Fund), which has just started business. The government of Bangladesh also must declare how they will be prepared and lead toward the climate conference in Lima in 2014 and Paris in 2015. He also assured that according to the past days the civil society will cooperate government delegation in all these international negotiations.

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index_46Dhaka, 11 June 2014: Today in a human chain in front of the national press club in Dhaka 15 national and district level farmers’ organizations led by EquityBD urge for allocating at least 20% of the total budget for agriculture. They also demand for an “Independent Agriculture Price Commission” for ensuring just price of the crops produced by the small and marginalized farmers.
The speakers in the human chain said, the proposed budget of 12,390 Cr Taka for agriculture in the FY 2014-15 is quite inadequate according to the demand and this approach will in fact facilitate and patronize the multinational companies instead of the poor and marginalized farmers of the country. Thus poor and marginal farmers will not be able to compete with the companies in crop production and its price. They will end up being poorer and landless as day laborer.
They also said the following the World Bank and IMF advice, instead of increasing according future demand, our government is decreasing unexpectedly the budgetary allocation in every year for agriculture and neglecting the country’s most important sector. And this is how the government has failed to fulfill their promise of making the country self-sufficient in food by 2012. If this situation continues it will be more and more difficult to achieve the food demand for the increased population by 2021 (according to FAO it will be 180 million people and the food production target will be 47 million ton). Finally it will create more poverty in this country.
Monir Ahmed, president of Central Krishok Moitree Federation, said the proposed budget for agriculture is only 4.95% of the total budget and by percentage it is less than that of last year. On the other hand our neighboring country India has increased their agricultural allocation by 20% over last year and it is 7% of their total budget. Our government should follow this example of India instead of bowing down to IMF and World Bank. Only then our poor and marginalized farmers’ will be benefitted.
Mainuddin Hawladar of Bangladesh Krishok Federation said, our finance minister said that the current policies would be carried on at any cost to strengthen the agriculture sector but unfortunately the allocation for agriculture subsidy is not increased over the last year’s 9,000 Cr Taka. But if we consider the 8% inflation, an additional allocation of 700 Cr Taka will be required to adjust the increased price of agriculture inputs especially for fertilizer only. He also said, the increased price of fuel will intensify the crisis in the agricultural production and we will be bound to import more food in future as the cost will cut the production. The government actually cheated us by not increasing the agriculture subsidy and pushed us to the dependency on the profit hungry multinational companies.
Golam Sarwar of Krishi Farm Sromik Federation said, the government is claiming that Bangladesh has achieved the self-sufficiency in food but in the last five years we have imported minimum 18.66 lac Ton and Maximum 51.50 lac Ton. Even in last year 23.00 lac ton food is imported. Our farmers are being abandoned as the public institution like BADC is weakened gradually so that the multinational seed companies can spread their monopoly business over the farmers. This is a big reason behind the shortage of gross food production. We are demanding hereby for allocating proper budget to strengthen BADC and our own research on the developed agricultural technology especially high yielding seeds.
Syed Aminul Hoque from EquityBD said that the country should have anti-dumping measures to protect the local farmers so that the highly subsidized agro-products don’t distort the local market of agricultural products. It ensures the local farmers to get the justified price for their crop. But due to the compromising attitude of the government of Bangladesh and misguided agriculture policy, the multinational agro-companies are making money and in exchange the local farmers are being abandoned. This situation need to overcome and demand for imposing anti-dumping measures to imported agro-products in proposed budget.
Aminur Rasul Babul Said, there is no compensation mechanism when a local farmer become looser by using the seeds of foreign companies. Even the mechanism for protecting local farmers in different countries is also totally absent here.
Fazlur Rahamn from Barguna Krishak Somiti said, Cost of everything in agriculture is increasing including raw materials, fertilizer and water except the price of the crops and the hard effort of the farmers behind it. Farmers never got the cost he invested in return.
Mostafa Kamal kanda of EquityBD has moderate the human chain and said, agricultural research is very important for the development of agriculture and increasing the food production. But unfortunately we have almost no allocation for agro-research. He urged for enough allocation for local research.

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index_photoSeven civil society groups urge for justice and effectiveness of Green Climate Fund (GCF) after presenting 11-points demand in a press conference in the National Press Club, Dhaka today (15 June 2013) jointly organized by Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA), Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (CSRL), Climate Finance Governance Network (CFGN), Coastal Livelihood Ecology and Adaptation Network (CLEAN), Equity and Justice Working Group (EquityBD), Humanitywatch and Network on Climate Change-Bangladesh (NCC-B).

Mostafa Kamal Akand of EquityBD moderated the press conference while Nuzhat Imam of CSRL, Mohua Rouf of CFGN and Sharifuzzaman Sharif of Nagorik Sanghati address their speech. The chief executive of Humanity watch Hasan Mehedi read out the written speech before the press.

The groups inform that, Green Climate fund (GCF) is still ineffective after 3 years of its formation in 2010 and yet to assist the vulnerable countries. Negligence of Annex-1 countries is mainly responsible for this stranding situation as they pledged 30 billion dollar as First Start Finance (FSF) in 2010-12 period but provided only 5.7 million USD. It is agreed that all climate finances will be ‘New and Additional’ but now the Annex-1 countries are trying to add their Official Development Assistances and other bilateral funds in the GCF.
The speakers demanded cancellation of World Bank as Trustee of GCF because it spent more than 24.5% money of GCF just for their office expense while the money was only for the poor and affected people of the vulnerable countries. Besides the Bank is misusing the climate fund for expanding its loan business. Meanwhile World Bank is trying to involve Asian Development Bank (ADB) and African Development Bank (AFDB) with this fund, which is totally illegitimate.

The speakers say in the press conference that, according to all the official reports on Climate Change, including UN one, Bangladesh is one of the worst affected country but they made Bangladesh and alternative member of Zambia in the stiring committee of Green Climate Fund. The speakers mention it is the diplomatic failure of the government of Bangladesh and if Bangladesh fails to establish professionalism, transparency and accountability in international level and to end corruption it will be hard for Bangladesh to take lead in this sector in future. The speakers also urge the GCF to be activated by the upcoming meeting in Korea during 26 – 28 June, 2013.

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