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Dhaka Tribune

Stakeholder talks on 7th Five-Year Plan in mid-2015

Update : 28 Nov 2014, 08:37 PM

After a five-year break, the Bangladesh Development Forum is expected to meet to discuss the proposed Seventh Five-Year Plan at a meeting likely to be held in April or May, Economic Relation Division sources said.

The forum, last held in February 2010, had been held up in the intervening years because of differences between key development partners, particularly the World Bank, and the government, over the Padma Bridge project and the January 2014 national elections.

General Economic Division member, Shamsul Alam, yesterday sent a letter to Finance Secretary Mahbub Ahmed concerning the finalisation of the Seventh Five-Year Plan covering FY2016-20.

Economic Relation Division officials confirmed that the government plans to hold the Bangladesh Development Forum meeting in April or May, subject to confirmation by participants.

At the forum, development partners and the government will negotiate the amount of financial and technical support required to hit the targets of the five-year plan, officials said.

The General Economic Department is the government agency in charge of drafting five-year plans, while the Finance Ministry prepares the mid-term budgetary framework that covers a three-year period.

One important task ahead of finalising the five-year plan is to ensure that the data in the mid-term framework and the plan conform with one another.

Shamsul’s letter said: “I, as member of GED, have requested the finance secretary to prepare a new mid-term budgetary framework or to bring the existing mid-term budgetary framework in line with the 7th Five-Year Plan. As result, there will be no inconsistency between the economic and social goals of the 7th Five-Year Plan and the mid-term budgetary framework.”

The five-year plan will contain a prioritisation of plans, sector-wise aims and objectives, and strategies and policies to meet the plan’s goals.

The proposed plan will carry forward the development programmes of the current government by ensuring the economic stability of the country, officials said.

It will include the total growth projection for the next five years and an estimate of local and foreign resources required to execute the plan, according to the letter.

Bangladesh needs financial support from donors to achieve double-digit growth and to cut the poverty rate down to 10% by 2021, according to the proposed plan.

The National Social Protection Strategy will include social safety net programmes, different social insurance programmes, labour market policies and self-employment programmes, according to the proposed plan.

The 7th Five-Year Plan is based on the goals of the AL election manifesto and its Vision 2021 strategy.

The five-year plan highlights the AL government’s long-term economic goals.

The government aims to reduce the proportion of the ultra-poor in the population to 13%, ensure a minimum daily per capita intake of 2,122 kilo-calories of nutritious food for at least 85% of the people by 2021.

The government wants to raise industry’s contribution to national growth to 40%, from its current level of 25%.

It hopes to increase power production to 24,000MW by 2021, up from 10,000MW currently generated.

The size of the annual budget, currently 18.7% of GDP, is slated to rise to 25% of GDP by 2021. Revenue income, currently 14.1% of GDP, is expected to hit 20% of GDP by 2021, according to the proposed plan. 

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