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    GDP target 7.8% as Tk4.65 tn budget rolled out

10m more jobs to be created in EZs
GDP target 7.8% as Tk4.65 tn budget rolled out

Sayeed Muhammad: The national budget for fiscal year 2018-19 has set a growth target of 7.8% as Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith rolled out a Tk 4,64,573 crore national budget yesterday.
Muhith presented the budget, his 12th and largest ever, to parliament.
In FY2016-17, the government’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth target was 7.4%, and Muhith reported that according to final estimates of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), growth stood at 7.65%.  “A solid domestic demand induced by increased personal consumption and government expenditure has made positive impact on growth. Furthermore, the upward trend in global growth and trade will stimulate our exports, foreign remittance flow and foreign investment,” he said.
The base for GDP growth was updated to 2005-6 in 2013. Before that the base was 1995-96.
Muhith also said earnings of the country will increase by additional US$40 billion and 10 million more jobs will be created in the economic zones (EZs).
“Our mission is to establish 100 economic zones in 30,000 hectares of land
by 2030. Establishment of 76 economic zones has been approved so far or till now and the Prime Minister herself has inaugurated 10 of them,” he said while unveiling the FY19 budget today.He said one of the pre-conditions for rapid economic development is increased investment. “We are gradually increasing public investment.
However, the purpose of this investment is to create investment-supportingenvironment for the private sector,” he added.The finance minister said availability of electricity, gas and water connections, timely processing of investment proposals, availability of undisputed land play crucial role in attracting private investment.
By making these services easily available to the investors, he said, the government enacted ‘Bangladesh Economic Zones Act’ in 2010 for establishing economic zones in potential areas to expand or develop export oriented industries and attract foreign investment.

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