The government has set an ambitious economic growth target of 7.5 percent for the next fiscal year. Although the rising commodity prices globally and the effects of a coronavirus pandemic have posed new challenges for the country. However, it also maintained its previous gross domestic product growth projection of 7.2 percent for the current fiscal year, ending in June.
AHM Mustafa Kamal, the Finance Minister, chaired the Fiscal Coordination Council meeting on Monday, where the growth projection was shared. Top officials of the finance ministry, the Bangladesh Bank, and other ministers were present. The growth target is higher than the forecasts by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.The World Bank has projected that Bangladesh’s GDP would grow by 6.7 percent in FY23, while the ADB expected the economy to expand by 7.1 percent.
“Such target is achievable,” said State Minister for Planning Prof Shamsul Alam. He also added that “We set the target after analyzing everything, including the country’s financial ability, and considering the mega projects that would be implemented. After that, we will continue our efforts to achieve the goal.”
Prof Alam said attaining the goal would be possible if the international situation does not deteriorate. He termed the Russia-Ukraine war a big problem and blamed the conflict for rising inflation. He says, “But we still think that achieving the growth target is possible the way our economic activities are going.”
The coordination council projected an inflation rate of 5.5 percent for FY23. The inflation target for the current fiscal year was set at 5.3 percent in the budget released in June last year. Later, however, it was revised upwards to 5.7 percent due to a combination of factors. Inflation jumped to 6.17 percent in February, the highest in 16 months, driven by escalating food costs.
Prof Alam said the government would try to curb inflation gradually. “But it is also true that this will depend on the global situation.” According to the government’s projection, the size of the economy would be $512 billion, or BDT 44,12,849 crore in FY23, while it was BDT 38,95,483 crore in FY22.