Planning Minister MA Mannan on Wednesday said the country has unjust laws that take away people's rights.
"As a citizen, I feel there is 'statutory injustice' in this country. There is injustice even in the laws of the country," he said while addressing a workshop at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital on Wednesday.
"Injustice is terrible everywhere. We are yet to address the problem. Those who have control over the instruments of poverty alleviation do not utilise that, rather they capitalise on that," the minister said.
For example, the main owners of the village reservoirs are the local people. "But those are now being leased, even with the help of the administration."
People who used to catch fish in natural water bodies now cannot do that, he said, adding that many of them now cannot eat fish as they do not have the ability to buy fish from the market.
"We all used to catch small fish in the village. But, the interesting matter is that no one is now allowed to catch fish in the village. It has been stopped by law. How logical is that?" the minister asked.
The non-governmental organisation Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC) and The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) organised the workshop, in which policy-makers, academicians, and other stakeholders took part.
They discussed ways to achieve the goals of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) within the next decade.
On the underserved population, MA Mannan said the underprivileged groups of people are still out of focus in the development journey of the country despite a lot of initiatives from the government and non-government entities.
"Even target groups [the unprivileged] are not often communicated. We need to think if our actions are truly inclusive," he added and called for effective efforts.
In the keynote presentation, Dhaka University Professor Mainul Islam explained the context of ICDP and stressed proper follow-up.
"During the pandemic, the service sector at grassroots was hindered, and hence the implementation of ICPD goals was hindered."
Economist Hossain Zillur Rahman and Country Representative of UNFPA Kristine Blokhus, among others, spoke at the workshop that created a renewed enthusiasm to accelerate the realisation of the 3 zeroes agenda – zero 'unmet need' for family planning and sexual and reproductive health, zero preventable maternal mortality, and zero gender-based violence and harmful practices.