Sunday, June 23, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Business wants infrastructure to get priority in new 5-year plan

Update : 19 Nov 2014, 06:03 PM

The business community yesterday recommended giving priority to develop infrastructure in the 7th five-year plan beginning from next year.

Lowering interest rates, diversification of exports, removing energy shortage and developing skilled manpower were also the recommendations for accommodating in the plan.

Before giving the final shape to the 7th five-year plan, the government has started taking opinions from economists, academics, entrepreneurs, journalists and other stakeholders since August.  

As part of the process, opinions of the country’s business people were taken at a meeting at the Planning Commission conference room yesterday, with Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal in the chair.

Bangladesh Finished Leather and Footwear Exporters Association President Abu Taher said there is no alternative of developing infrastructure for boosting private investment, which is the driving force for quality economic growth.

To woo investment, the country must remove infrastructure bottlenecks, he said. 

Stressing the need for diversification of exports, he said leather industry that has bright prospect in the $220bn global market is the alternative of RMG industry. 

He sought government’s support to help flourish leather industry to earn more foreign exchange.

Director of apex trade body the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Obaidur Rahman said higher lending rate holds back investment. 

“It should be reduced to single digit for attracting the private investment.”

He urged the government to give attention on diversification of export basket for sustainable economic development.

Bangladesh Association of Software Information and Services (BASIS) Joint Secretary General Mostafizur Rahman Sohel underscored the need for building skilled manpower to increase productivity.

“Skilled manpower resource is important to raise productivity,” he said. 

In response, the Planning Minister said the government will give importance in the 7th five-year plan to increase both private and foreign investment.

He requested the business people to set up industry individually or jointly outside of Dhaka for industrialisation of the country.

On lowering lending rate, he said the banks are now burdened with non-performing loans. “Lowering interest rates will hit their operational cost,” he said.

As per 7th plan, the government aims to raise the economic growth at 10% and increase per-capita income for both urban and rural residents by 2021.

The five-year economic development guidelines from next financial year (2015-2016) are being prepared by the Planning Commission. The preparation work for the 7th five-year plan will end in January next.

In August, a panel of economists headed by country’s renowned economist Dr Wahiduddin Mahmud has been formed to give necessary guidelines for formulating the draft document of the 7th plan.

The 7th plan will be formulated adopting 28 agendas, including economic development, employment generation, ensuring electricity and energy security, developing education and health sectors, increase agriculture production, developing capital market, equally developing rural areas and cities, and strengthening local government.

The current 6th five year plan will expire in 2015. 

Top Brokers


Popular Links