Maintaining Economic Stability

Formulate long-term strategy: Experts

Jannatul Islam

17 April, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Economists have suggested preparing a long-term strategy for ensuring economic stability apart from expediting the vaccination programme amid the second wave of corona pandemic.

Eminent economists also said the economic activities have to continue by maintaining health guidelines for the sake of the country’s development.

Former Bangladesh Bank (BB) Governor Dr Atiur Rahman said there is no hope of full economic recovery from this crisis unless we can defeat this virus.

“Fortunately, agriculture and remittances remain our greatest strengths. Let’s continue to provide necessary incentives to these two strategic drivers of our growth,” Dr Atiur told the Daily Sun on Tuesday.

Lauding the government’s move to keep the industries open during the lockdown, Prof Atiur said businesses must ensure compliance to health guidelines in the production units.

“Yet a huge number of people engaged in the informal sectors will be badly affected by this lockdown. Let there be grassroots initiatives with elected representatives, government officials and social organizations to provide food support to them. Let there be local and central hunger hotlines to respond to the needs of these people,” added Dr Atiur, a Bangabandhu Chair at Dhaka University.

Prof Atiur suggested the government for extending social safety net coverage in collaboration with the central bank and mobile financial services to address the challenges facing the low-income community during the restriction on public movement.

“They can certainly identify the people in need through artificial intelligence focusing on average mobile recharge up to a certain level, say Tk 50 per month.”

 “Simultaneously, there have to be additional construction activities both in the rural and urban areas to keep the employment opportunities floating. The government has

taken a very good decision to keep the infrastructural activities moving. This will help. Also, there has to be accelerated implementation of the vaccination program to bring back people’s confidence and as well as business confidence,” Prof Atiur added.

Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) distinguished fellow Dr Mustafizur Rahman recommended expanding the social safety net coverage with cash support to underprivileged people and keeping the food chain active as an immediate ‘circuit breaking’ solution for the lockdown days.

“The lockdown should be imposed strictly for the sake of the economy in long term. The government should extend support to the poor from its fiscal planning. Besides, economic activities should comply with the health guidelines,” Prof Mustafizur Rahman told the Daily Sun.  

Policy Research Institute Executive Chairman Ahsan H Mansur recommended for a long-term strategy to keep the wheels of the economy running apart from widespread vaccination for the workers.

“The complete lockdown is mandatory to tackle corona infection. However, the government should formulate a long-term strategy for economic recovery as the virus is not likely to disappear very soon. The vaccination for the working community should be extended” Ahsan H Mansur, chairman of Brac Bank, told the Daily Sun on Tuesday.