Refuting a subdued growth forecast of the World Bank (WB), Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Wednesday insisted that Bangladesh GDP growth will be more than 6.1 per cent in the outgoing FY21, the highest in South Asia.
“We’ve to see first whether World Bank’s predictions were correct in the past. We’ve not seen any similarity of those forecasts with reality even after some plus and minus,” the finance minister said after a Cabinet Committee meeting.Kamal’s comments came a day after the global lender made a new forecast on Bangladesh economy that its growth will slum to 3.6 per cent in outgoing FY21.
It also said the growth will rebound to 5.1 per cent in FY22 mainly driven by higher consumption and resumption in economic activity, RMG exports and low inflation.
“We hope that we will be able to achieve the growth projected for 2021-22 fiscal year. We’re also expecting a 6.1 per cent growth in the current fiscal year,” he stated.
About the ground for his confidence for a 6.1 per cent growth in FY21, he referred to positive turnover in macro-economic indicators in the ending months of May and June.
“This growth will be the highest in South Asia. It is a matter of some days only. You will see whether it is correct or not,” an upbeat Kamal said. Defending the proposed budget, the finance minister said the budget has no weak side.
“The budget has no weakness. To me all are strengths,” he remarked in reply to a question. The finance minister placed a Tk 6.03 trillion national budget for FY22 in the parliament on Thursday last with a 6.2 per cent deficit.Kamal also rejected private organizations’ data on new poor created in the last one year due to the corona crisis.
"I do not accept this data on new poor. It is important to know the source of the data list, which says the country has 2 crore or 1 crore or 10 crore new poor," Kamal told reporters in reply to a question.