Published:  12:21 AM, 16 August 2019

'Finance leaders must go beyond short-termism for sustainability'

'Finance leaders must go beyond short-termism for sustainability' Eminent economist and former Governor of Bangladesh Bank (BB) Prof Dr Atiur Rahman speaking on "Leadership and Financial Inclusion: The Bangladesh Experience" at a special session at Kolkata on Wednesday. -AA

Eminent economist and former Governor of Bangladesh Bank (BB) Prof Dr Atiur Rahman believes that leaders of the financial sector need to go beyond short-termism to serve the goals of sustainable development.

He said, "Markets may have invisible hands but not the soul or conscience. And that is why those leading the financial sector must be humane in their approach and must want something positive for all stakeholders."

Dr Atiur Rahman made the remarks while speaking on "Leadership and Financial Inclusion: The Bangladesh Experience" on Wednesday afternoon at a special session at Kolkata organized by Indian Statistical Institute (ISI).

Chaired by Prof Abhiruk Sarker, the program was also attended by Prof Shanghamitra Bandopadhay and many scholars and faculty of ISI and a number of high profile media personalities. Prof Tarun Kabiraj welcomed Prof Rahman to the special session.

Dr Rahman further added that ensuring access to finance for those belonging to the bottom of the social pyramid is pivotal. Those leading the financial sector have to induce institutional changes that enhance access to finance. Prudent use of the latest digital technology can be of great assistance in this regard.

However, he added, technology alone will not be enough. The finance leaders have to nurture a digital culture that empowers the people and attracts better talents. Dr. Rahman then shared with the audience his own experience of leading the financial sector of Bangladesh. He discussed how different innovations enhanced access to finance in Bangladesh which in turn contributed towards attaining greater macro-economic stability.

However, he emphasized that there is no room for complacency as another global financial crisis is almost knocking at the door in the backdrop of slowdown of the global economy fueled by protectionism and populism leading to trade war.

More strategic financial Inclusion could be the only way out of this looming crisis as this will enhance domestic demand and ensure financial stability. Bangladesh faced last global financial crisis using this strategy pretty well and should remain focused on this even today in this uncertain world economic environment.

 Former Governor of Bangladesh Bank (BB) Dr Rahman also made a keynote presentation on Thursday at Kalamandir in Kolkata on Bangabandhu as a part of observation of our national mourning day organized by Deputy High Commission of Bangladesh.

Dr Atiur Rahman along with Bangladesh Deputy High Commissioner to Kolkata Towfique Hasan also placed floral bouquet at the sculpture of Bangabandhu at the Baker Hostel Kolkata yesterday morning on the occasion of commemorating the martyrdom of the Father of the Nation. Mentionable, Bangabandhu was a resident of this hostel of the then Islamia College. A Bangabandhu memorial corner has been established surrounding Room 24 of the Hostel.

He will also give a few more public lectures to be organized by prominent think tanks and Chamber of Kolkata in the following couple of days.

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