Ex-Bangladesh finance minister dies in car crash: police
A former Bangladeshi finance minister credited with setting the impoverished country on the path to economic reform died on Saturday in a car accident, police said.world Updated: Sep 05, 2009 17:09 IST
A former Bangladeshi finance minister credited with setting the impoverished country on the path to economic reform died on Saturday in a car accident, police said.
M. Saifur Rahman, the second-highest official of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), was travelling to the capital Dhaka when his car spun out of control and veered into a ditch, police said.
"He was pulled out unconscious from the car crash and was declared dead after being rushed to a hospital," police superintendent Mukhlesur Rahman told AFP.
The 77-year-old politician was Bangladesh's longest-serving finance minister.
He began his political career in 1979-80 as finance minister of the first BNP government. He also served as finance minister in the last BNP government before its tenure ended in 2006 when an army-backed government took over.
The BNP lost to the Awami League in the general elections in December 2008 that restored democracy in the South Asian nation.
He is widely credited with launching Bangladesh's free market reforms and keeping its macroeconomic health stable during the dozen years he was at the helm of the finance ministry.
The percentage of Bangladeshis living below the poverty line dropped sharply during his years as finance minister.
Rahman gradually rolled back the government's stake in businesses and privatised scores of state-owned enterprises.