Bangladesh Rebases GDP Includes 9 New Sectors

Bangladesh Rebases GDP Includes 9 New Sectors

The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) has introduced 2015-16 as the new base year for GDP calculations, which brought changes to the economy’s size, growth and the per capita income as well. Including mobile banking and agent banking, more than 9 sectors have been added in GDP calculations in the new base year.

Based on the new GDP base year, per capita income rose to $2,554 in FY21 as per the new calculation, which was $2,227 according to the 2005-06 base. According to BBS, mobile banking, agent banking, cows and poultry, nurseries, and the agricultural sector (Latkan, Dragon, Strawberry, Capsicum, Mushroom) as well as housing, cable television, internet, and helicopters are some of the new sectors added to the GDP calculations.

At present, the average daily transaction through mobile banking (MFS) is around BDT 2500 crore, and there are more than 7 crore customers of mobile banking. So it has been added in the new base year (2015-16). Furthermore, there are 14,000 banking agents across the country. The latest Bangladesh Bank record shows that the deposit balance in agent banking is BDT 20,379 crore, which has also been added in this new base year.

Rebasing the base year is essential to get accurate calculations & estimations of GDP, and it is quite normal for countries to do so. This is the fifth time that Bangladesh has changed its GDP base year as the economy has undergone structural changes over the years. BBS added a few more sectors including housing, cable television, internet business, helicopter services, commercial rearing of cattle & poultry and meat production, nursery business, and commercial cultivation of agricultural products like dragon and strawberry fruits, and capsicum, mushroom, etc.

The World Bank’s Dhaka office former economist Mr. Zahid Hussain said to a newspaper that, ‘Time to time changes of the data of GDP & the related elements ensures the acceptability of the national index forecast and its usefulness for comparison with other countries. If the new accounts are finalized, Bangladesh will be ahead of all other SAARC countries considering the recent year of the base year of the national accounts.’

According to news reports “The nature of the movement cannot be understood unless new emerging sectors of the economy are included in the GDP calculation. However, it is important to consider how sustainable the new activities are’’, said Selim Raihan, Executive Director, South Asian Network on Economic Modeling.

The ride-sharing services, privately run motor vehicles, national flag carrier Biman, private carriers US-Bangla and Novoair, private helicopter services, Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company, motion pictures, cinema halls, and new banks data are also included in the GDP.

Including these components and changing the base year has caused the national accounts figure to change. According to this new base year, Bangladesh’s current GDP size increased 15.7% and increased to BDT 34 lac 840 crore, which was 30 lac 117 crore as per the previous base year.

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