The economy of Bangladesh is booming. Over the past 50 years, it has made an incredible progress. Now, it has become one of the world’s economic success stories. Our economic achievement has been praised all over the world. Of late, a former adviser to the World Bank for the Pakistan Programme has praised our economic growth. In an article that appeared on ‘The News’ on Monday, he has predicted that Bangladesh could be an economic powerhouse in 2030 if it continues to grow at the same rate. He even foretold that Pakistan might end up taking aid from Bangladesh on the same year.
Not to speak of Pakistan, in reality, we have kept on driving our growth engine faster than that of India. We are now a leader in South Asian GDP growth. According to a latest report published in the Indian newspapers, Bangladesh has overtaken India in per capita income. On many other fronts, our economic performance has far exceeded other South Asian neighbours. We can be proud of our achievements.However, there is no room for complacency. Now, the question is whether our robust economic growth can be sustained. Keeping the tempo of growth is the challenge ahead. Our prospects are excellent, but there are risks that need to be taken into account seriously. Presently, the issue of project implementation has raised a concern. As per press reports, most of the mega projects excepting the Padma Multi-purpose Bridge Project have missed their deadlines. However, the latest information has relieved us to some extent. It is that the government has categorised 10 mega projects as fast-track ones and has set aside Tk 497.71 billion or 22.09 per cent of the total ADP allocation for them to accelerate the implementation process.
Finally, we should never forget that when a country’s economy takes off, corruption and inequality tend to increase which can even stall the growth process if left unchecked. Therefore, ceaseless vigilance is the need of the hour.