Sunday, 19 August 2018
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Isn’t 8% GDP growth possible in FY19 comparing proposed budget?

Dr. Mahfuz Kabir, Research Director, BIISS

Dr. Mahfuz Kabir, Research Director, BIISS : Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday unveiled the mega budget of Tk 4,64,573cr for the fiscal year 2018-19, which has a lot to offer. A very important thing to recall is that we were able to achieve is around an unprecedented 30% of growth from the previous fiscal year’s budget. My personal belief is that with the ‘mega budget’ unveiled, we can register a bigger growth rate.
It is a matter of serious concern that we are not being able to rise above the 80% implementation rate. How can a budget of such size go 20% underutilized? Such poor performance is not acceptable.
Satisfying enough, we are presented with a budget 26% bigger than the outgoing budget of FY 2016-17 with an outlay of Tk 317,174 crore. The proposed budget is focused with an ambitious GDP growth rate of 7.8%. Despite the budget being quarter the bigger than that of last year, will it not be possible to post 8% growth in the next fiscal year?

We could easily meet a growth rate of 8% with the mega projects of the Padma Bridge, Metro Rail, Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant etc. Also, this would help boost the development works in the country.
A 5% supplementary duty has been proposed on all polythene bags, plastic bags and poly-packaging to encourage the use of green product jute. This can have bigger implementation, but the alternatives need to be available. The corporate tax for green garment factories has been reduced to 14%. This will be a win-win situation for the business and its stakeholders at the same time.
The many initiatives to tune up the economy through the budget proposition will not succeed if alignment is not brought between all the sectors. Not many times have we seen a good budget performing as planned. There will not be any breakthroughs if the alignment is not adjusted properly.
Based on an interview by Sofian Khan.

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