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Internal strength of country's economy is 'enormous': Mannan

Express Report
  20 Dec 2023, 14:44

Planning Minister MA Mannan has said that the internal strength of the country's economy is 'enormous' which has led the nation to overcome various odds and propel ahead to become a developed country by 2041.


"The internal strength of the country's economy is enormous and I'm very much happy in this regard," he added.


The Planning Minister said this in an interview with BSS while highlighting the achievements and challenges of the Awami League government over the last 15 years in its three successive terms.


Touching upon the overall macroeconomic performances of Bangladesh over the last 15 years under the rule of the Awami League government, the Planning Minister said Bangladesh has made a 'quantum jump' in all the major macroeconomic fronts alongside faring better in other socio-economic indicators during this one and a half decades.


He noted that Bangladesh was able to maintain a healthy GDP growth rate of 7 percent on an average until the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war brought havoc into the global economy and also to the livelihood of mankind.


"Had there been no pandemic and the war during this period, Bangladesh could have enjoyed over 8 percent growth during this period," Mannan said, adding that Bangladesh was the best performer in this region in terms of tackling the impacts of the pandemic.


During the FY2010, the overall budget size of the country was Taka 1,13,815 crore whereas the ADP size was Taka 28,500 crore. With the passage of time and riding on successful implementation of policies, the budget size reached Taka 7,61,785 crore in the current FY24 with the ADP size totaling Taka 2,63,000 crore. 


When asked about the state of the country's overall macroeconomic situation amid the shocks of the global economic condition, the Planning Minister said that the economy is now doing well since it is making a turnaround from the pain of the global economic slowdown.


"The process for making a successful turnaround is already underway. The supply of essential items like rice, vegetables, fish and meat are smooth and it would continue in the coming days," he added.


About the major macroeconomic indicators, Mannan was quite upbeat as the flow of inward remittance is now currently on the rise due to the stimulus being provided by the government to bring in more greenbacks amid the dollar crisis.


He said that foreign currency reserve, which at one point was nearly approaching the $50 billion mark during the rule of Awami League, is now currently in a bit lower level, but still can meet up the import bills for several months.


Hopefully, the inward remittance and foreign currency reserve would increase in the coming months, he added.


Mannan said the general point to point inflation declined last month thanks to the smooth supply of all essentials while the consumer price index would also continue to fall in the coming months.


He expressed his high optimism for yielding a robust Boro harvest in this season and said that the rice harvest was quite well over the last few seasons.


When his attention was drawn to the implementation capacity of the executing agencies, an issue in which the government is trying its best to reach the optimum level, in utilizing the annual development programme (ADP), Mannan said the volume of workload and expenditure have increased manifold over the last 15 years.


With the increasing trend of GDP growth, he said the volume of development works are also increasing for which all the implementing entities need to work in a coordinated manner.


He said apart from the government agencies, other concerned stakeholders like contractors and engineers are associated with the smooth execution of the development process for which it often takes time to see the successful completion of development schemes.


"Development can't happen overnight and it takes time.....various efforts are on to enhance the implementation capacity of the executing agencies," he added.


The Planning Minister said, apart from the locally funded projects, the government would take bigger strides to enhance the implementation capacity of the foreign aided projects.


Apart from these, Mannan said, the ongoing activities and automation initiatives should be continued by the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to mobilize more internal revenues.


In this regard, he opined that the ongoing operations for installing Electronic Fiscal Device (EFD) machines across the country in phases would play a big role to generate more revenues from VAT.


To ensure optimum monitoring and evaluation as well as extend the coverage of the Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED), Mannan, said the capacity of the IMED has been strengthened over the years although it is not enough to oversee the magnitude of the country's overall development operations.


He informed that offices of the IMED would be set up at the divisional level in the coming days to expand its operations.


The Planning Minister also mentioned that the release of quality data has been ensured over this period by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) in line with the international standards.


Referring to a recent agreement signed with South Korea, he said that the capacity of the BBS would be further strengthened with the signing of such agreement.


Asked about the existence of inequality in society alongside the uptrend in growth and improvement in living standards of people, Mannan said that such an economic model is now prevailing in the country where inequality will not perish since the country is moving towards a higher growth trajectory.


But it is important to note that the living standards and consumption have increased for the low income group people during this period despite the shocks of the pandemic and war.


"It is the biggest achievement of the Awami League government although disparity and inequality will persist in society to some extent," he said, adding that the poor people have advanced a lot.


"The country's people now don't starve from hunger as we've been able to eradicate hunger to a huge extent....people from all class can now have protein like chicken, eggs, milk,"


Citing that inequality and disparity are the characteristics of the country's economy, the Planning Minister said those who have higher education and access to finance here would definitely shine in life and prosper like elsewhere in the world.


Replying to another question, Mannan, a bureaucrat-turned successful politician, asserted that the existing major priorities in the demanding areas would continue if Awami League is elected again in the next general election.


He, however, called upon the people concerned to shun destructive activities, arson attacks, aiming to foil the next general election, and thus come to the path of democracy and development.

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Internal strength of country's economy is 'enormous': Mannan

Express Report
  20 Dec 2023, 14:44

Planning Minister MA Mannan has said that the internal strength of the country's economy is 'enormous' which has led the nation to overcome various odds and propel ahead to become a developed country by 2041.


"The internal strength of the country's economy is enormous and I'm very much happy in this regard," he added.


The Planning Minister said this in an interview with BSS while highlighting the achievements and challenges of the Awami League government over the last 15 years in its three successive terms.


Touching upon the overall macroeconomic performances of Bangladesh over the last 15 years under the rule of the Awami League government, the Planning Minister said Bangladesh has made a 'quantum jump' in all the major macroeconomic fronts alongside faring better in other socio-economic indicators during this one and a half decades.


He noted that Bangladesh was able to maintain a healthy GDP growth rate of 7 percent on an average until the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war brought havoc into the global economy and also to the livelihood of mankind.


"Had there been no pandemic and the war during this period, Bangladesh could have enjoyed over 8 percent growth during this period," Mannan said, adding that Bangladesh was the best performer in this region in terms of tackling the impacts of the pandemic.


During the FY2010, the overall budget size of the country was Taka 1,13,815 crore whereas the ADP size was Taka 28,500 crore. With the passage of time and riding on successful implementation of policies, the budget size reached Taka 7,61,785 crore in the current FY24 with the ADP size totaling Taka 2,63,000 crore. 


When asked about the state of the country's overall macroeconomic situation amid the shocks of the global economic condition, the Planning Minister said that the economy is now doing well since it is making a turnaround from the pain of the global economic slowdown.


"The process for making a successful turnaround is already underway. The supply of essential items like rice, vegetables, fish and meat are smooth and it would continue in the coming days," he added.


About the major macroeconomic indicators, Mannan was quite upbeat as the flow of inward remittance is now currently on the rise due to the stimulus being provided by the government to bring in more greenbacks amid the dollar crisis.


He said that foreign currency reserve, which at one point was nearly approaching the $50 billion mark during the rule of Awami League, is now currently in a bit lower level, but still can meet up the import bills for several months.


Hopefully, the inward remittance and foreign currency reserve would increase in the coming months, he added.


Mannan said the general point to point inflation declined last month thanks to the smooth supply of all essentials while the consumer price index would also continue to fall in the coming months.


He expressed his high optimism for yielding a robust Boro harvest in this season and said that the rice harvest was quite well over the last few seasons.


When his attention was drawn to the implementation capacity of the executing agencies, an issue in which the government is trying its best to reach the optimum level, in utilizing the annual development programme (ADP), Mannan said the volume of workload and expenditure have increased manifold over the last 15 years.


With the increasing trend of GDP growth, he said the volume of development works are also increasing for which all the implementing entities need to work in a coordinated manner.


He said apart from the government agencies, other concerned stakeholders like contractors and engineers are associated with the smooth execution of the development process for which it often takes time to see the successful completion of development schemes.


"Development can't happen overnight and it takes time.....various efforts are on to enhance the implementation capacity of the executing agencies," he added.


The Planning Minister said, apart from the locally funded projects, the government would take bigger strides to enhance the implementation capacity of the foreign aided projects.


Apart from these, Mannan said, the ongoing activities and automation initiatives should be continued by the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to mobilize more internal revenues.


In this regard, he opined that the ongoing operations for installing Electronic Fiscal Device (EFD) machines across the country in phases would play a big role to generate more revenues from VAT.


To ensure optimum monitoring and evaluation as well as extend the coverage of the Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED), Mannan, said the capacity of the IMED has been strengthened over the years although it is not enough to oversee the magnitude of the country's overall development operations.


He informed that offices of the IMED would be set up at the divisional level in the coming days to expand its operations.


The Planning Minister also mentioned that the release of quality data has been ensured over this period by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) in line with the international standards.


Referring to a recent agreement signed with South Korea, he said that the capacity of the BBS would be further strengthened with the signing of such agreement.


Asked about the existence of inequality in society alongside the uptrend in growth and improvement in living standards of people, Mannan said that such an economic model is now prevailing in the country where inequality will not perish since the country is moving towards a higher growth trajectory.


But it is important to note that the living standards and consumption have increased for the low income group people during this period despite the shocks of the pandemic and war.


"It is the biggest achievement of the Awami League government although disparity and inequality will persist in society to some extent," he said, adding that the poor people have advanced a lot.


"The country's people now don't starve from hunger as we've been able to eradicate hunger to a huge extent....people from all class can now have protein like chicken, eggs, milk,"


Citing that inequality and disparity are the characteristics of the country's economy, the Planning Minister said those who have higher education and access to finance here would definitely shine in life and prosper like elsewhere in the world.


Replying to another question, Mannan, a bureaucrat-turned successful politician, asserted that the existing major priorities in the demanding areas would continue if Awami League is elected again in the next general election.


He, however, called upon the people concerned to shun destructive activities, arson attacks, aiming to foil the next general election, and thus come to the path of democracy and development.

Comments

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