The parliament on Thursday unanimously passed a bill providing for a precise guarantee that the government will return the money taken as debt from the public under any circumstances.
The Public Debt Bill, 2022 was passed by voice vote after Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal introduced it in the parliament despite widespread criticism from opposition members of parliament (MP).
It will now be sent to the president for signing it into a law.
The proposed legislation will replace the British-era law, The Public Debt Act 1944, which was extended on several occasions.
The Finance Division said the law is necessary as the debt system witnessed a radical change over the years.
According to the proposed law, the government will give a precise guarantee against the debt taken by the government from people that they would get back the deposited money anyhow.
Among the opposition parliamentarians, Jatiya Party MP Pir Fazlur Rahman criticised the government and said that through this law, the government is creating a free opportunity to take loans.
Jatiya Party's Shamim Haider Patwari said, "This is a terrible law. It has given the government unaccountable power in taking loans. Have people given this power to the government?"
BNP's Harunur Rashid said, "The law should have specified 'other purpose' it has. This bill has been introduced with considerable flaws. When corruption is spreading at an unstoppable pace, people's money is being looted and embezzled, there is no specific plan in the bill regarding its prevention and remedy."
He added that the debt of the country is increasing day by day. It is said that the country is on the highway of development but how much national interest is being protected should be considered.
Questioning the logic of this law, Fakhrul Imam, an MP elected from the Jatiya Party, said that a sovereign bond is a strategy to sell the country because if you sign this bond, you must pay it. They will get it anyway. If you do not pay, an area will be taken over.
Meanwhile, the new law has 40 sections aimed at developing sustainable credit policies and plans, developing credit strategies, assessing credit risk and further expanding government accounting.