The government is aiming to create 11.9 million jobs in the next five years riding on an 8 per cent plus GDP growth with the hope of speedy post-Covid-19 economic recovery.
The target is being set in the final draft of the upcoming 8th five-year plan that the Planning Commission is now preparing incorporating the pandemic impacts, Planning Commission sources said.General Economics Division (GED) has prepared a preliminary concept paper on Employment Projection for the Eighth Five-Year Plan Period.”
“Coronavirus pandemic won’t affect the projected jobs and growth that much as corona situation is expected to cool down within one year,” commented Dr Shamsul Aalam, the chief of General Economics Division (GED).
“The growth will rise with the increase in economic activities after that. So the growth projection is made in the next plan is not irrational,” the chief of the top public sector think tank said.
He expressed hope that the target of job creation will be fulfilled as well with the argument that the target is not unusual when it is compared with that of 7th five-year plan.
The employment generation target, however, has been lowered by one million for the next mid-term plan whereas the target was 12.9 million in the 7th five-year plan.
Dr Alam explained that the job target went down as elasticity of growth and job has declined according to Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) estimate.GDP growth has been projected to finally rise to 8.51 per cent in 2024-25 fiscal year, the last year of the plan, starting with 8.2 per cent growth from 2020-21 fiscal year.
There is also a target to raise investment to GDP ratio to 37.4 per cent at the end of the plan.
Out of the expected 11.9 million new jobs, 8.42 million jobs will be created at the domestic level in the next five years, while 3.5 million jobs will be external jobs.
In line with the draft documents of the new plan, 2.2 million jobs will be created in ongoing FY21, 2.32 million in FY22, 2.38 million in FY23, 1.6 million in FY24 and 2.51 million in the last year.
The government has been able to create 9.5 million in the last five years against the 12.9 million job creation target of 7th five-year plan.
There is a target to bring down the inflation rate to 4.8 per cent in 2024-25 fiscal year in the upcoming plan, while inflation target for the current fiscal year is 5.5 per cent.
Economic analysts are sceptical about the job creation target and term the target unrealistic. In addition to corona pandemic, they say, the relation between employment and growth in decreasing day by day.