Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal paints a rosy outlook of Bangladesh economy till 2030 with per-capita income rising to USD 3,089 and income inequality effectively addressed. He pins hopes on the present pace of economy despite pandemic setbacks and lower projections on economic growth by...
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal paints a rosy outlook of Bangladesh economy till 2030 with per-capita income rising to USD 3,089 and income inequality effectively addressed.
He pins hopes on the present pace of economy despite pandemic setbacks and lower projections on economic growth by international development financiers.
"Our remittance flow is well. Growth is there. Gross domestic product (GDP) also has growth. If we see all these things altogether, we can assume the inequality between the rich and the poor shouldn't exist," says the minister in respects of growing concern over yawning inequalities amid high concentration of wealth in few hands.
The government will do whatever needed to address the disparity, Mr Kamal said after a virtual meeting of the cabinet committee on government purchase.
The finance minister was replying to a query on recent economists' comment that the constant GDP growth of last few years has been helping only a quarter of people to further fatten their wealth while the remainder falling further afar.
He says the government has some mechanisms in hand, like the taxation system -- high earners will pay high in taxes while the low earners will pay less.
Those who do not pay tax are covered by social safety-net schemes and they are benefited from that programme, he says about a way of helping the have-nots at present.
Mr Kamal recalls that the father of the nation had a dream that no income inequality would persist in Bangladesh. And the way the prime minister is taking forward the nation, the inequality may be addressed by 2030, he says.
On recent downturn in foreign-exchange reserves, the minister says the country is now making higher import payments and so the volume of forex reserves is getting lowered.
He mentioned that recently the central bank made payment to the Asian Clearing Union on the country's import bill, which has caused the reserves to fall.
The present volume of US$45 to $46 billion is comparatively good enough, says the finance minister, adding that the reserves could have crossed $50-billion mark if no such payment had been made.
On a lower projection by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Bangladesh's GDP growth for the current fiscal year, he says in the last fiscal year the GDP growth rate was 5.43 per cent while this fiscal year it will be 7.2 per cent and the size of GDP will stand at $455 billion.
"I am hopeful that the size of GDP will touch half-a-trillion mark in next fiscal year," says Mr Kamal, striking a twin upbeat note that the per-capita income will reach $3,089 by then.
The minister maintains that the IMF projected 6.6-per cent GDP growth for Bangladesh's current fiscal year against government projection of 7.2 per cent as "IMF always makes projection conservatively".
On recent publication of guidelines for offshore investment by Bangladeshi entrepreneurs, he says making investment abroad will also bring money from there and also create employment opportunity over there.
"Unless we do not allow offshore investment, money may go abroad through illegal means," he notes in an implicit reference to reports of capital flight from the country.