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Prof Nurul Islam reshaped BD's dev, economic landscape

Speakers tell BIDS event in city

FE Report | June 05, 2023 00:00:00

Speakers at a commemoration event on Sunday said Professor Dr. Nurul Islam would be best remembered for his role in reshaping the development and economic landscape of the war-torn Bangladesh.

They also said he was a complete economist as well as a leader of bringing out the economic rationalisation of the 1971 Liberation War.

The luminaries of his time noted that he had bird's-eye view of the development economy - not only of Bangladesh but also of the world.

The work of Professor Nurul Islam is worthy of Nobel Prize, they added.

Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) organised the event - "Prof. Nurul Islam: Perspectives from Different Generations" - to commemorate his outstanding legacy as a renowned economist and a significant figure in Bangladesh's intellectual landscape.

Planning Minister M A Mannan in his speech said Dr. Nurul Islam was one of the country's greatest luminaries of all time.

He also questioned why all members of the Planning Commission left the institution, leaving Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman alone during his murder in 1975.

Prime Minister's Economic Affairs Advisor Dr. Mashiur Rahman said Dr Nurul Islam was a bridge between politicians and economists-bureaucrats in making the country's development policies.

BIDS Director General Dr. Binayak Sen chaired this event.

He said Professor Islam was a very balanced and moderate economist.

Dr. Roumeen Islam, daughter of Prof. Islam and Senior Economic Advisor to Managing Director of the International Finance Corporation, said her father believed that no economic policy could be taken in isolation.

"He believed every economic theory has deep connection with its economic history and evolution."

She said his first love was Bangladesh along with its progress and development.

He also had love and respect for all, irrespective of age, gender and race, she added.

Eminent Lawyer Dr. Kamal Hossain said Dr. Nurul Islam worked for formulating the six-point charter of demands that actually was instrumental to the independence of Bangladesh.

Workers Party Bangladesh Chairman Rashed Khan Menon said Professor Nurul Islam was a great teacher, who always used to look after his dear students.

He expressed his frustration, as Mr. Islam was not properly honoured by the state.

Bangladesh Bank Former Governor Professor Dr. Mohammed Farashuddin said Bangladesh was deprived of the services of Professor Nurul Islam due to his relocation to USA permanently.

Dr. Islam supported welfare economy, rather than aligning himself with any certain political-economical ideology, he opined.

Professor Dr. Wahiduddin Mahmud, Chairman of Economic Research Group (ERG), said Professor Nurul Islam was a pioneer pundit in the area of economic research and study.

Dr. Islam practiced necessary economic theories throughout his life, he noted.

Matiur Rahman, Editor of Daily Prothom Alo, said Nurul Islam was a great defender of democracy, universal human rights, freedom of speech, and transparency.

He emphasised correct data on economic situation.

Professor Nurul Islam along with his other colleagues worked very closely with Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the then political leadership - to create the economic manifesto defining the logic of liberation of the Bengali nation from Pakistan.

Dr. Islam was the Deputy Chairperson of the first Planning Commission (headed by Bangabandhu). He and three other eminent economists, namely Professor Rehman Sobhan, Professor Mosharraf Hossain, and Professor Anisur Rahman, had led the collective of people who authored the first Five-Year Plan (1973-78).

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