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Commenting on Pandora Papers issue not logical, says Kamal

Staff Correspondent
09 Dec 2021 00:00:00 | Update: 09 Dec 2021 08:59:59
Commenting on Pandora Papers issue not logical, says Kamal
— File Photo

The Anti-Corruption Commission has submitted information to the High Court on four Bangladeshis named in the Pandora Papers, and case proceedings are now moving forward under the court’s jurisdiction, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said on Wednesday.

“So, it will not be logical for me to comment on this issue,” he told the media on Wednesday after being asked whether he was surprised when the names of local businessmen showed up in the leak.

Kamal came up with the remarks after virtually presiding over the meetings of Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs and Cabinet Committee on Public Procurement.

The Pandora Papers are 11.9 million leaked documents with 2.9 terabytes of data that the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists published beginning on 3 October 2021.

The leak exposed the secret offshore accounts of 35 world leaders, including current and former presidents, prime ministers, and heads of state as well as more than 100 billionaires, celebrities, and business leaders.

When asked about the additional names mentioned by the media in connection with the Pandora Papers, the minister said, “It is up to the ACC to investigate these people further, and decide whether to take them to the High Court. The commission is working on it.
“I do believe that my comment will provide no benefit to their [ACC’s] work. So I will not make any comments on this issue, have patience.”

He continued, “We can provide you [the media] with updates, but it will be brief. We cannot offer you [the media] with detailed updates until the case is settled. We had initially made a list of 43 individuals and companies, and it has been submitted to the High Court.
“Any further information we receive will be gradually submitted as well. I believe in justice, and will abide by any decision coming from the court.”

‘Economists lauding Bangladesh’s successes’

Addressing the country’s economic and social achievements after fifty years of independence, Kamal said, “Economists across the globe are lauding Bangladesh’s successes in the last fifty years.

“Our GDP first exceeded $100 billion 38 years after our independence, and now the figure has increased more than four-fold to $411 billion on average.”

He continued, “We have done really well in all the indices of macroeconomics and social sectors. Social economic indicators are also doing well. In their latest research, the UK’s Centre for Economics and Business Research predicted that Bangladesh will rank 25th among the global economies by 2035.

“It is our dream to be among the top 20 global economies by the year 2041.”

Kamal further said, “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is moving forward with the people of Bangladesh to realise the dreams of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The trend of our achievements will continue in the coming days.”