GDP growth set to be 6.32pcStaff Correspondent
The country’s gross domestic product in the current financial year is set to grow at around 6.32 per cent, well below the target of 7 per cent as projected by the government in the current budget.
The provisional estimate sent by Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics to the finance ministry last week showed that the country’s GDP would grow by 6.32 per cent which is point 68 percentage point less than the target, mainly due to drop in exports and industrial growth and slow growth of agricultural production.
The country’s major development partners and some leading economists earlier said that the GDP growth this year would be between 5.5 per cent and 6.32 per cent, mainly because of a slump in export growth.
Riti Ibrahim, secretary of statistics division, declined to comment on their calculation.
She, however, told New Age on Tuesday that BBS sent its calculation to the
finance ministry with some findings and finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith would disclose it if he wants.
The finance minister is now on a tour abroad and is expected to return later this week.
In its report, BBS said that the country achieved less incremental growth than expected in the production of Aus and Aman rice and wheat.
Industrial production also could not achieve its target due to electricity and gas crisis while export growth is less than previous year and public investment is also below 25 per cent of GDP which were blamed for the failure in achieving the target, the report said.
Education, health and financial sectors also did not see any remarkable improvement, officials said.
The Centre for Policy Dialogue in its report on Macroeconomic Performance in FY 2012 also mentioned these barriers to achieve the targeted growth.
Considering the growth trend in Aus, Aman and Boro production, GDP growth target is very unlikely to be achieved. Industrial output trend also appeared dismal that would contribute to lower GDP growth, the CPD said.
As to exports growth, CPD observed that given the volatile global situation, the export-oriented industries would not perform well.
The finance ministry officials, however, said the BBS calculation on agriculture is based on data available until December 2011.
They pointed out that production of Boro, the single largest cereal crop of the county, had not been calculated properly in the provisional estimate of BBS.
Price of rice has decreased substantially in the local markets because of good Boro harvest, they said, adding that the GDP growth would be around 6.5 per cent to 6.7 per cent.
CPD executive director Mustafizur Rahman told New Age that GDP growth had been hampered as the expected export growth would not be achieved during the current fiscal year.
According to Export Promotion Bureau, the country’s export growth in first 10 months of the current fiscal year slumped to 8.41 per cent compared with the same period of the last fiscal year when the export growth was 40 per cent year-on-year.
The government had earlier set the target considering that the export would rise by 15 per cent to $26 billion this fiscal year from the last fiscal year when total exports were worth $22.92 billion.
Mirza Azizul Islam, adviser to the immediate past caretaker government, said that economic crisis in Europe and USA, the two biggest export destinations of Bangladeshi products, created a negative effect on export.
Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies director general MK Mujeri, however, said that 6.32 per cent GDP growth in the outgoing fiscal year was ‘fair’ given the adverse internal and external factors.
He pointed out that most of the countries including neighbouring India witnessed a slow economic growth.
Earlier in April, the International Monetary Fund projected that Bangladesh’s GDP would grow by only 5.5 per cent this fiscal year, the lowest growth in last nine years. Two other international lenders, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, recently projected 6-6.2 per cent growth.
In response to the international lenders’ projections, finance minister repeatedly said that the government believed the GDP would grow by close to 7 per cent.
In the previous fiscal year (2010-11) GDP grew by 6.7 per cent. The GDP growth in FY2002-03 was 5.26 per cent, in FY2003-04 was 6.27 per cent, in FY2004-05 was 5.96 per cent, in FY2005-06 was 6.63 per cent, in FY2006-07 was 6.43 per cent, in FY2007-08 was 6.19 per cent, in FY2008-09 was 5.74 per cent and in FY2009-10 was 6.07 per cent.
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