Govt plans to revise down growth target as blockade hits economy
2 February 2015, Nirapad News: The government plans to revise down its economic growth target for the current fiscal year as the ongoing countrywide blockade and the associated violence have continued to hit the economy hard.
“We will have to revise it because of the current situation. The revision exercise has already begun,” Finance Minister AMA Muhith told the pres at his secretariat office yesterday.
The government had earlier targeted 7.3 percent economic growth for the current fiscal year. The World Bank forecast that the economy would grow by 6.2 percent this fiscal year, while the Asian Development Bank said the growth would be 6.4 percent. The central bank last week also said the GDP growth would be in the region of 6.5-6.8 percent.
Muhith is due to update his colleagues in parliament on the macroeconomic situation in the second quarter of the fiscal year in the ongoing parliamentary session and he would bring in the issue of the revised GDP target then.
The minister also spoke on how the nonstop blockade that entered its 28th day is getting in the way of the government’s budget implementation. “Everything has been affected — people are not being able to run their normal economic activities. How can the economy advance in this situation?” Muhith said.
Nonstop blockades mixed with local and nationwide hartals have badly hit farm incomes, disrupted inter-district road and rail transport, weakened buyer confidence on the exporters’ ability to deliver on time and halted the rebuilding of investor and consumer confidence.
Bangladesh is counting about Tk 2,277.86 crore in economic losses a day, due to the blockade and strikes ongoing since January 6. However, it would stand at Tk 2,500 crore if the daily loss is calculated taking into account the 25 percent of the total industrial production, according to the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI).