It is reassuring to learn from responsible government people that the economy is poised to bounce back once the pandemic is over and take the high growth path at 8.2 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as was projected before the covid-19. The claim is about as serious an issue as the prospect of the economy's performance in the days ahead even after its having been devastated by the history's worst ever scourge that struck the country.
The planning minister who made this positive statement about the economy did it while addressing the occasion to present the second SDG progress report before the press. So, we believe it was not just another political statement like the ones government leaders often make at various political occasions. And since it was a business occasion, it was certainly an important disclosure about the state of the economy and as such he meant what he said. The GDP growth figure for the current fiscal that he mentioned has relevance to the social and economic goals the government had pledged to the world body (UN) to achieve by 2030.
Again, we are further heartened to know from the same occasion that except for a few components (targets) of the 17 SDGs, the performance indicators of the economy are clearly on track, which means the economy is progressing very confidently to meet all the conditions of sustainable development by the year 2030.
However, the areas where performance has not been at the expected level, as the government organ looking after the task, the General Economic Division (GED), did admit, were under-five children's poor health and nutritional state, fatalities from some serious non-communicable diseases like cancer, heart and lung diseases, diabetes, etc. Also, the progress was not as satisfactory when it came to increasing country's dependency on clean energy and technology, reducing social inequality and so on. Even so, what the government claimed to have achieved is in a word amazing.
It is indeed nothing short of a miracle that such results could be achieved despite no end of challenges that the economy had been passing through over the years. And now we have the covid-19 pandemic that has brought not only Bangladesh, but the entire world to a standstill. When the forecast about the global GDP is that it may contract by 5.2 per cent in 2020, it is surprising that Bangladesh could avert the inevitable!
In that case, Bangladesh is perhaps going to be a rare exception as a country that could escape the pernicious impact of the world-destroying pandemic practically unscathed!
Coming to the heart-warming GDP growth projection of 8.2 per cent by the current fiscal (2020-21), we believe, the various data on products or expenditures used to calculate the GDP growth figure are based on sound statistics at a time when the availability of data is a big challenge.
The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBD) has done a commendable job by carrying out the painstaking task of collecting the relevant information in such difficult times to provide the government with the crucial data to make the projection on the GDP growth.
In fact, authenticity of the data is the single most important condition for any calculation to be credible. And since the government depends a lot on BBS's surveys and research findings, we think BBS has been maintaining the highest standards.