We have no reason to trade democracy

Abu Sufian

Prioritising development required prioritising justice and freedom, experts said at a programme.

Speaking at the inaugural session of the Annual BIDS Conference on Development (ABCD) 2023, arranged by the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) on Thursday,

BIDS director Binayak Sen stressed the importance of democratic institutions. “We have no reason to trade democracy and freedom of speech for development,” he said.

Professor SR Osmani, who also spoke at the event themed “Development, Justice, and Freedom”,

said justice, freedom of expression and the freedom of speech were essential for economic development.

Development comes from the contributions of both labour and enterprises; the government facilitates development, but does not provide it, he said.

Osmani continued by saying that prioritising development requires prioritising justice and freedom. Planning Minister MA Mannan,

who also addressed the event, highlighted  how over two thirds of the population live in rural areas.

He said their needs and demands were considerably different than those who live in the cities and larger towns.

The minister also said those who live in rural areas care more about proper sanitation, water, electricity, and housing facilities as well as lower cost commodities.

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