It is indeed a very heartening piece of news that top economists of Standard Chartered predicted that the country’s GDP will grow at over 7 per cent in fiscal year 2022 and will continue to grow at the rate, making the country a $500-billion economy by fiscal year 2026. They also acknowledged that despite the global pandemic Bangladesh’s growth momentum bounced back pretty fast and the per capita income is all set to hit $3,000 by that time.
The government’s successful handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and massive incentive measures to prop up vital sectors including agriculture, export industries and small and medium enterprises during the time of the crisis have helped the economy grow and rebound strongly.
Construction of a plethora of mega projects including the Padma bridge, Metro-rail, Matarbari energy hub and deep seaport, Bangabandhu industrial park and other special economic zones, High-Tech parks, multi-lane highways and well-dredged waterways have accelerated the pace of development. These projects, once implemented, will boost regional connectivity, ensure energy security and usher in a new era in industrialisation.
In the last one decade, under the prudent leadership of Sheikh Hasina, the country has witnessed a tremendous leap in socio-economic indicators. Over the years, the per capita income increased more than three folds to USD 2,227. Remittances increased from USD 9.6 in 2008-09 to 24.8 billion in 2020-21. Export incomes also increased from USD 15.5 billion to about USD 39 billion during this period. The country has not only attained self-sufficiency in food production, but also earned over a billion dollars from export of agricultural processed products.
Despite all of the economic progress what concerns a majority of the people is the galloping inflation rate and widening income inequality. The people at large are benefitting from the national economic success, but a steady rise in inflation is eating up whatever progress they have made in their income generation. Therefore, urgent measures are needed to keep inflation in check.