A policy debate on the motion "This Parliament demands nationalization of mega-corporations" was held at the 4th Bangladesh Economics Summit organised by the Economics Study Center on Wednesday.
The faculty members of the University of Dhaka spoke in favour of the motion while the students spoke against the motion, reads a press release.
The debate session was moderated by Dr MM Akash, professor and chairman of the Department of Economics, University of Dhaka.
Robust logic and relevant historical facts in favour of nationalisation were presented by the teachers' team comprising of Department of Economics Professor Dr AKM Ghulam Hussein, Department of International Relations Professor Dr Mohammad Tanzimuddin Khan, and Department of Mass Communication and Journalism Professor Dr Kaberi Gayen.
The debate commenced with Professor Hussein talking about the role of IBM in the holocaust, which was a company owned by JP Morgan. He attributed Donald Trump's triumph in the 2016 US presidential election to the tech giant Facebook. Professor Tanzimuddin Khan then spoke about the infamous 2008 financial crisis triggered by the profit-hungry corporations, which resulted in a bailing out worth of almost 700 billion USD from the US government. As the final speaker, Professor Gayen strongly spoke against neoliberal ideas, which led society to acknowledge inequality as a natural phenomenon.
The students' team - Lubaba Mahjabin Prima, Sheikh Rafi Ahmed, and Muktasid Mohammad Rafiul Islam; all from the Department of Economics of the University of Dhaka - presented strong arguments and rebuttals in response.
They focused on inefficiency, which will be prevalent if mega-corporations get nationalised. Their argument also included that political polarisation comes with nationalisation, which can be another obstacle in the way of efficiency. Besides speaking against nationalisation, they have suggested that predatory price control imposed on the corporations by the Governments, as well as unionisation of workers, can, to some extent, reduce the tendency of corporations holding excess power over mass people.
The esteemed moderator concluded the session by stating that the nationalisation of mega corporations depends on the type of government a country has.
If a government is corrupted, it can consolidate more power by nationalising corporations, which can be devastating for the country. But if a government is appropriately democratic, by nationalising corporations, it can efficiently move the level of wealth from the top 1% to the mass people of the country.