Kamal hopeful of attaining GDP target in FY21

DHAKA, Sept 16, 2020 (BSS) – Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal today reiterated his optimism of attaining the targeted 8.2 percent GDP growth rate in the current fiscal year (FY21), saying that the country’s people are giving their all-out efforts alongside the government to attain the goal.

“We attained 5.24 percent GDP growth in the last fiscal (FY20) and we’re working hard to touch our targeted 8.2 percent GDP growth in the current fiscal year. Our country’s people are also giving their all-out efforts in this regard to take the country to a much better position,” he said.

The finance minister was briefing reporters virtually after holding two separate meetings on the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs and Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase.

When asked about the ADB’s Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2020 Update released yesterday (Tuesday) where it projected 6.8 percent GDP growth for Bangladesh in the current fiscal year (FY21), Kamal said the lending agency’s projection was not bad.

“Our fiscal target of growth is 8.2 percent which is high, but the ADB clearly said that Bangladesh has made a nice start. We’re moving ahead slowly and steadily and we’ll have to go a long way taking all with us,” he said.

Kamal said as per the Manila-based lending agency’s latest projection, Bangladesh is standing behind China and India, adding that Bangladesh was atop other Asian countries with a 5.24 percent GDP growth last year.

“We’re moving ahead properly, the country’s people are fully committed and they’re also very much associated with the economy,” he added.

In its latest ADO Update, the ADB said prudent macroeconomic management and speedy implementation of the government stimulus measures are key imperatives to ensuring the projected recovery of the economy of Bangladesh.

The ADB also said Bangladesh’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow by 6.8 percent in fiscal year (FY) 2021.

The growth reflects gradual recovery, supported by a strong manufacturing base and strengthening of growth in export destinations. Inflation is expected to moderate to 5.5 percent and current account deficit to narrow to 1.1 percent of GDP in FY2021.

When asked whether the government would consider revenue measures or cut import duty on onion to bring down its price, the finance minister said no one, even the Prime Minister, does want that the sufferings of people increases.

“If there are certain revenue measures, we’ll definitely consider because it’s an essential item (onion). The matter was also considered in the past and will consider it if necessary,” he added.

Kamal, however, mentioned that the Ministry of Commerce is looking into the matter and it will be resolved like in the past.


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