Kamal sees temporary difference in GDP growth estimate

Staff Correspondent

1 April, 2021 12:00 AM printer

The finance minister thinks the difference between the government’s GDP estimate and the World Bank’s projection is temporary that will go after the final calculation.

In its latest forecast, the World Bank on Wednesday revised upward its previous forecast on Bangladesh economy and said Bangladesh economy is likely to post 3.6 percent growth in 2021, much lower than government projected 7.4 percent. 

“I think the difference between the projections of us and them (World Bank) is temporary as at the end of the year, they accept our calculation,” Kamal said.

He said this while replying to a media query as he was talking to the reporters online after he attended meeting of Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase.

Kamal argued that the World Bank gives their projections monthly, quarterly or periodically, but the government gives its final estimation at the end of a year.

He also claimed that the lending agency is satisfied with the methodology and parameters that Bangladesh follows as computing the GDP growth.

He said the government has been following the same methodology over the last 12 years for estimating the GDP growth and the lending agencies like the World Bank accept those finally. The finance minister said the government is not likely to face economic problem like that of last year if the country’s COVID-19 pandemic remains in control.

He hoped that the ongoing vaccination campaign along with other virus spread preventing measures will immensely help the government in addressing the second wave of the pandemic. However, he said the global economy is aligned and related to one another. “If our foreign buyers are affected severely, then we might go through some tough time,”

He said the government can control domestic market through various fiscal and monetary policy measures. “But, if the impact from the international market lasts long, then there could be some problems,” he added. .

“Once the Vaccination programme is complete, the infection rate and the impacts of COVID-19 would come down,” he pointed out, also referring to infection slowdown globally supported by vaccines.

When asked whether the government measures are adequate enough to contain the surge of COVID-19 infection rate, Kamal said besides the ongoing vaccination programme, the government has also issued an 18-point directive to contain the infection rate. “If the directives are followed properly, then I think the infection rate will come down,”

He also shrugged off skepticism with regard to getting new vaccine supply and said: “There is no reason for not getting the vaccines as the government has already paid the money.”