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Mustafa Kamal expects 8.5% GDP growth in FY19

  • Published at 11:40 pm January 7th, 2019
Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal
File photo of Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal Mahmood Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

The new finance minister expresses hope after taking oath

New Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Monday expressed optimism that the country’s GDP growth rate in the current fiscal year (FY19) would reach 8.5%, exceeding the fiscal target of 7.8%.

“As per an international think-tank, Bangladesh’s GDP growth will reach 7.5% this year. They actually predict in a conservative way. I think, the GDP growth will reach 8.5%,” he said.

He was exchanging views with officials of the Finance Ministry at his secretariatoffice in Dhaka, after taking oath as finance minister along with other members of the new cabinet, reports BSS.

Kamal said Bangladesh has achieved remarkable successes in the last 10 years and the country has attained 41st position among the largest economies in the world in 2019, up from the 43rd position last year, as per UK-based think tank “World Economic League Table.”

If the country improves maintaining this trend, Bangladesh will stand within the first 20 countries in 2041 as per the largest economy in the world and the top 20 countries are considered as developed countries, he added.

The finance minister urged authorities concerned to come forward and take necessary reforms to bring non-performing loans (NPL) to a reasonable level.

“We should make necessary changes to bring the NPL to a reasonable level. The existing rate of NPL is around 13%. If we can keep the NPL at 7-8%, it will play a vital role in the country’s economy,” he added.

Referring to the on-going upward trend in the stock market, Kamal said the national election has brought confidence to the people, taking the capital market to upward trend.

He underscored the need for strengthening the bond market to collect long term investments of the business community.

He also said Bangladesh should focus on increasing the country’s tax to GDP ratio to accelerate the development activities.

“Currently, the tax to GDP ratio of Bangladesh is around 8-9%. We should take it to 16-17%,” he added.