SANGSAD BHABAN: Prime Minister and Leader of the House Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her government has favoured a strong opposition…
DHAKA: Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal yesterday expressed the hope that the GDP growth rate in the current fiscal year (FY18) would further raise from the provisional estimation of 7.65 percent.
“The GDP growth rate will not remain at 7.65 percent (provisional estimation). The growth rate will further raise at the end of the current fiscal year,” said the minister while speaking at “Meet the Press” held at the NEC Conference Room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.
Kamal also expressed his optimism that Bangladesh’s economic growth would reach double digit in the future.
Referring to the World Bank’s latest development update titled “Bangladesh Development Update: Building on Resilience”, Kamal said there were some good observations made by the World Bank in that report.
But, he differed with the Washington-based lending agency on one particular aspect regarding maintaining austerity by the government.
“I can’t agree on this as it’s not acceptable. As because, it’s now the time for Bangladesh to move ahead and we’ll have to move ahead with our entire force,” he said.
The minister said the World Bank in their latest Development Update said that there is room in the budget to apply fiscal austerity measures on non- development capital expenditures, and loans and advances, as well as government financed ADP projects.
“My objection lies here as if we slash the ADP (Annual Development Programme), then how come we’ll boost our GDP growth?” he added.
Responding to the doubts and questions raised by the World Bank about the GDP growth projection of 7.65 percent for the current fiscal year (FY18), the planning minister suggested the World Bank local authorities to sit with the BBS to minimize their data and information gap by this May and thus amend their report.
“I believe that our figures (BBS) are accurate and the reflections are accurate as we generate those from surveys. We hope that the World Bank will review the whole thing as it is usual for them that they don’t accept what we deliver early in the year, but eventually accept at the end of the year,” he added.
The Planning Minister also revealed the ADP implementation status for the July-March period of the current fiscal year notching 45.65 percent having an expenditure of Taka 71,940 crore. The ADP implementation rate during the July-March period of the last fiscal year was 45.15 percent with an overall expenditure of Taka 53,866 crore.
“We’re hopeful about implementing the ADP allocation in full scale in the current fiscal year,” he said