Shrugging off the World Bank’s 2 to 3 percent growth projection for Bangladesh economy in FY20 due to coronavirus, the Finance Minister on Monday is still hopeful of achieved at least 6 percent growth this year.
“Like the whole world, Bangladesh’s GDP is likely to fall as well, but not that much. We’ll be able to post at least 6 percent growth this year also,” a finance ministry release quoted AHM Mustafa Kamal as saying.The global lender on Monday published an economic update on eight countries of South Asia, in which it said Bangladesh’s economic output is likely to shrink to 2 to 3 percent in FY20 and dip further to 1.2 to 2.9 percent in FY21 hit hard by adverse impact of COVID-19.
Terming the World Bank’s forecast premature and not timely, he said: “Time has not yet come or it is not the right time to meticulously calculate the GDP growth figures for Bangladesh.”
He argued that the country has already 8 months’ economic data based on which Asian Development Bank (ADB) predicted a much highest 7.8 percent growth for Bangladesh.
“So, I consider the World Bank’s projection neither timely nor mature,” he remarked.
Even though growth becomes zero or negative in March-June quarter, the country’s growth will be over 6 percent based on the performance shown in the first three quarters, Kamal insisted.
He reiterated that the government main priority is to save peoples’ lives, provide medicare and food to them now compared to economy.He claimed that agriculture sector has seen no impacts from coronavirus and it will post the expected growth if the crisis is not lingered much.
He admitted that industry and service sectors may have some negatives impacts, but the government is taking some remedial measured to overcome the situation.