Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- Bangladesh’s economy will grow between 5.6 percent and 5.8 percent in the fiscal year (FY) 2013-14 if there is no major supply disruption and political uncertainty in the next half of the current fiscal year, the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) predicted on Saturday.
"Bangladesh has lost its momentum to move to higher growth trajectory following a record 6.7 percent GDP growth in 2010-11. So, it will be a major challenge for the government to return to such higher growth rate," Professor Mustafizur Rahman, executive director of the local research think tank, said while releasing its "Analytical Review on Bangladesh’s Macro-economic Performance in FY2013-14" as part of its Independent Review of Bangladesh’s Development (IRBD) programme at its office in the capital Dhaka.
Mr. Rahman also said the government would have to restructure the fiscal framework, extend support to boro harvest and rural economy, provide compensation to the affected sectors and ensure policy predictability.
Distinguished fellow of CPD Dr Debapriya Bhattacharjya,research director Dr Fahmida Khatun and additional research director Dr Golam Moazzem were present on the occasion.
Immediate steps would have to be taken to remove difference among the political parties on the basis of consensus to restore confidence for investment and businesses, Mr. Rahman added.
He also appreciated the government's emphasis on large infrastructure projects, but cautioned that they might not yield immediate growth impulse.
He said the government has already declared a number of supportive policy measures for private sector in view of its losses due to recent political violence.
But these measures in terms of banking and taxation are skewed toward the garment sector although agro-based industries, transport, small entrepreneurs and businesses were equally affected, he said, calling for assistance for all affected sectors.
Debapriya Bhattacharya said the government would have to take steps and projects on priority basis so the falling investment makes a turnaround. "We will have to remove policy uncertainty to woo and increase investment.”
He however said the uncertainty over political arena might not vanish completely until an all-inclusive, fair and transparent election is held.
He suggested the government to review its income and expenditure and the government must cut its target for expenditures.
BBN/SSR/AD-25Jan14-9:31 pm (BST)