The IMF has raised its projection for the economic growth of Bangladesh to 5% for 2021, up from 4.4% it forecast in October
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Wednesday said the government is feeling well over the latest GDP growth forecast by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as it has raised its projection.
“Our forecasts are always based on actual facts and figures. But their [IMF, World Bank] projections are usually based on assumptions… yet, they [IMF] have mentioned well and it is good news for us,” he said.
The finance minister was responding to questions from reporters after virtually chairing two separate meetings on the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs and the Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase (CCGP).
The IMF has raised its projection for the economic growth of Bangladesh to 5% for 2021, up from 4.4% it forecast in October.
The Washington-based multilateral lender came up with the projection in its World Economic Outlook, which was published on Tuesday.
According to the IMF, the country will return to its high growth trajectory next year, when the gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to expand by 7.5%. The GDP will grow by 7.2% in 2026.
According to the IMF’s projection, India’s GDP would grow by 12.5% in 2021, Sri Lanka by 4%, Nepal by 2.9%, and Pakistan by 1.5%.
Earlier on March 31, the World Bank projected Bangladesh’s GDP to grow as high as 5.6% in the fiscal year 2020-21.
The finance minister said the World Bank and the IMF makes projections about the global economies from time to time while it is a flexible sort of thing as they often raise and lower those.
But, he said, no matter what kinds of projections the lending agencies give, the government would have to accomplish its own tasks and thus move forward.
“We will have to accomplish our tasks pursuing practical aspects instead of theoretical aspects as to ensure how we can unleash much more development. Our goal is to implement the ideas of our policy perspectives in a timely manner,” he added.
Asked whether the Ministry of Finance would come up with something to ease the sufferings of the low-income group people during the countrywide lockdown to check the spread of Covid-19, Kamal said the authorities are looking into the matter and necessary arrangements and decisions would be taken considering the interests, safety, and security of the common people.
He, however, said his ministry always takes measures to ensure welfare of the people of the country and also to ensure that the common people are not affected.
Replying to another question, the finance minister said that the stimulus packages announced so far are the outcome of farsighted thoughts of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina while the Ministry of Finance is executing those.
Kamal added that the approvals for rice import are being given as per the requirements and that the government changes the supplier of rice and switches to another source when the assigned supplier failed to provide rice in due time.
He said that the government would not procure more quantity of rice as it will hurt the farmers, on the other hand, it would not procure rice less than its requirements as it would also hurt the consumers.
Kamal mentioned that such rice purchase is being done by the Ministry of Food in alignment with the Ministry of Agriculture.
Responding to another question over the possibility of availing a possible tranche from the IMF, he said the government will approach the organization when it holds a meeting with the IMF.