Those who own flats or land in Dhaka city are black money holders owing to the existing system of the government, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said on Wednesday.
Owners of land and flats register their properties at much lower rates than the actual. For instance, he said, if the price of a flat is Tk10 crore, its owner registers it showing Tk2 crore. In this way, almost all the flat or land owners in Dhaka city are black money holders, he said while virtually briefing on the outcomes of the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase.
Responding to a query, the finance minister again defended the government's proposed amnesty to legalise laundered money despite opposition from economists and research agencies.
"I will do whatever I have said. I never come back from the half-way," Mustafa Kamal said.
He argued that many people criticised the government's decision to give incentives to remitters, saying that money would be laundered instead of a rise in remittance inflows.
But remittances have experienced a big boost, surpassing all previous records, because of the incentives. In the same way, the laundered money will be repatriated because of the amnesty, he pointed out.
"At a time when we are trying to bring back laundered money, it is being said the government is offering scope for whitening black money. I say again and again, it is undisclosed money and there is nothing to be ashamed of," he continued.
Replying to a question about the falling trend of the share market, Mustafa Kamal said the measures outlined in the proposed budget on the stock market will be implemented. There is a lot for the capital market in the whole budget.
"Our economy is doing very well and will continue to do so. Economic growth is good, we are in a much better position in the world in all macroeconomic indicators. Fluctuations in the capital market are normal. But we hope it goes well," he added,
When the laundered money returns to the country, a portion of it will be invested in the capital market, he also said, adding, "We are looking forward to investing it in various industries and businesses."
Asked whether fuel prices are being raised again, the finance minister said the issue has not been finalised. The government wants the suffering of ordinary people to be less. But if the prices go up in the international market, some pressure has to be passed on to common people, otherwise the government will have to bear it.
Foreign consultants in the garment sector are taking huge amounts of foreign currencies every year.
Talking about it, Mustafa said the country's readymade garment sector does not need foreign consultants anymore as many experts have been created locally.
"I do not think foreign consultants are needed anymore. But those who run the factories told me, they still need foreign experts. Otherwise, their exports will be hampered," he concluded.