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Friday, March 31, 2023

Bangladesh’s economy is now rebounding from COVID-19 shocks: Finance Minister

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Expressing his firm resolve that Bangladesh would soon step into a developing country status from the list of LDCs, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Wednesday said that the country’s economy is now rebounding from the COVID-19 shocks due to the time-befitting steps of the government alongside implementation of the stimulus packages.

“In the first half (July-December) of the current fiscal year (FY21), the major macroeconomic indicators like inward remittance, foreign currency reserves, money supply and inflation are in a very satisfactory position. The Taka-Dollar exchange rate has long been remained stable while the current account and balance of payments account are also in positive trajectory,” he said, reports BSS.

The Finance Minister said this while presenting a report on budget implementation progress, trend of income, expenditure and economic analysis of the first half (July-December) period of the current fiscal at the Jatiya Sangsad today.

Highlighting some of the major macroeconomic achievements of the government in the first half, Kamal said that the NBR attained a revenue collection growth of 4.11 percent, the overall public expenditure has reduced by 7.57 percent, the rate of ADP implementation has reached 8.2 percent out of its overall allocation.

Besides, he said the inward remittance flow witnessed a growth of 48.54 percent thanks to the incentive on remittance at 2 percent rate alongside simplifying the remittance sending process. “I express my optimism that such upward trend in inward remittance will continue in the future too,”

Apart from this, the Finance Minister highlighted that the export earnings witnessed a growth of 2.54 percent side by side the foreign currency reserves reached a record height of $43 billion which was $39.31 billion in September 30, 2020.

The annual average inflation rate reached 5.69 percent in September 2020.

Kamal said the GDP rate of Bangladesh has increased gradually over the last one decade until fiscal year (2018-2019) when the GDP growth rate reached a record 8.15 percent which was also the highest in Asia. But, following the COVID-19 pandemic, the high growth trend became a bit sloth, but still it posted the highest growth in Asia with 5.24 percent whereas the major Asian economies witnessed negative growth except China and Vietnam.

He said the per capita income of the country has increased to $2064 while the government has been implementing various short, mid-term and long-term plans giving priority on attaining high growth, maintaining the macroeconomic stability.

The Finance Minister said after successful completion of the 7th Five Year Plan, the government has also started implementation of the 8th Five Year Plan (2021-2025), 2nd Perspective Plan (2021-2041) and Delta Plan 2100.

“Our desired goal is to turn Bangladesh into a happy and prosperous developed nation by 2041,” he added.

Kamal said Bangladesh Awami League has recently passed an era with unprecedented success in running the country with farsighted steps and strong leadership from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

He mentioned that to offset the shock from COVID-19, the government has so far rolled out some 23 stimulus packages involving a total mount of Taka 1,24,053 crore which is also 4.4 percent of GDP. “All will have to acknowledge it that this is a rare and courageous step in the history of Bangladesh,”

The Finance Minister said Bangladesh would soon graduate from the LDC status into a developing country under the able leadership from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and also in the directed path of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

He also wants to devote such achievement (once Bangladesh is graduated from the LDC status) to the martyrs of country’s War of Liberation including Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman since the country is also celebrating the centenary birth celebration of Bangabandhu and the Golden Jubilee of country’s independence.

The statement showed that the overall public expenditure in the FY20 stood at Taka 4,15,548 crore which is 6.03 percent higher than the previous fiscal year (FY19).

In the first half of the current fiscal year (FY21), the overall public expenditure has reduced by 7.57 percent, the ADP expenditure has reduced by 26.26 percent while other expenditure has reduced by 1.28 percent.

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