The Financial Express

Kamal sees 8.0pc GDP growth unless outbreak lingers

| Updated: April 09, 2020 10:04:06

File photo showos Finance Minister A H M Mustafa Kamal File photo showos Finance Minister A H M Mustafa Kamal

Finance Minister A H M Mustafa Kamal has said COVID-19 outbreak is slowing down economic activities, but the country will see nearly 8.0 per cent gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the current fiscal year (FY), 2019-20.

"Unless the catastrophe lingers long, we will be able to attain our goal. The GDP growth will be around 8.0 per cent," he said after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced a Tk 727.50-billion stimulus package at Ganobhaban on Sunday.

The finance minister said all quarters will get benefits of the stimulus package, which is offered for offsetting losses, linked with the coronavirus pandemic.

"Everybody is included (in the package), none will be excluded."

Mr Kamal said inflation is close to 5.5 per cent, and it remains at a stable position. If such a big amount (Tk 727.50 billion) can be financed from the banks, overcoming the problems will be easy.

He underscored the need for expansionary monetary and fiscal policies at this point, instead of following a contractionary one.

The country's GDP attained 8.15 per cent growth in FY 2018-19. For the current FY, the growth target was set at 8.2 per cent.

However, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Friday said the growth rate of Bangladesh economy will be 7.8 per cent in this fiscal, provided it can handle the pandemic successfully.

Mr Kamal said before the coronavirus epidemic, the country's economic growth was significant, remittance inflow was very well, and revenue collection was also good.

"We were a little bit behind in one area only - export earnings."

However, he hoped that remittance growth will cover the loss in export earnings.


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