Participants at a seminar in the city on Sunday recalled the unparalleled role of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the development of the country's economy until the last moment of his life.
According to them, the country's socio-economic development could have been several times higher if Bangabandhu could have led the nation for a couple of decades more.
The seminar titled 'How far our economy and society would develop, if Bangabandhu was alive' organised by Bangladesh Economic Association (BEA) was held at the CIRDAP Auditorium.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed attended the seminar as chief guest.
Former governor of Bangladesh Bank (BB) Dr Mohammed Farashuddin, former vice chancellors (VC) of Dhaka University Professor Dr AK Azad Chowdhury and AAMS Arefin Siddique attended it as special guests.
BEA vice president AZM Saleh chaired the seminar while its president and former professor of DU economics department Abul Barkat presented a keynote paper.
Speaking on the occasion, Tofail Ahmed said Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was a man of great virtues, whose ruthless murder seriously hampered the country's socio-economic growth.
"The brutal killing of Bangabandhu also instantly murdered the dream of Bangladeshi people to become a developed nation," he said.
Despite conspiracy against the nation, the country has made significant progress so far, said the politician.
"Had Bangabandhu led us for some more years, Bangladesh's success would have multiplied several times," said Mr Tofail, who had been a close ally to Sheikh Mujib.
Dr Mohammed Farashuddin said Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was killed at a crucial moment when the nation was about to make an economic turnaround from the status of a war-torn country.
"The GDP growth rate remained at around 4.0 per cent in the years between from 1971 to 1974," he said, adding that: "The rate significantly grew by around eight per cent in 1975, when the Father of the Nation was killed along with his family members".
Despite many setbacks since Bangabandhu's death, Bangladesh's economic achievement is now an example for many countries including Pakistan, said Mr Farashuddin, who had been a personal secretary of Sheikh Mujib.
In the keynote paper, Dr Abul Barkat said growth rate of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) could reach 9.0 per cent by the year 2011.
To show a possible trajectory of Bangladesh's economic development under Bangabandhu's leadership, the economist showed a comparison between the growths of Bangladesh and Malaysia till 2011.
Both the countries had been a similar economy at early seventies of the last century.
Bangladesh's economy could overtake the Malaysian economy by several times under Bangabandhu's leadership for more 24-25 years, said the economist.
"Bangladesh's GDP could have reached US$ 421.58 billion in 2011 if Bangabandhu was alive, which stood at $88.55 billion in reality," he said after making analysis of various economic indices.
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