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1 January, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Growth rate to be biggest challenge

Says ex-BB governor Salehuddin
Staff Reporter
Growth rate to 
be biggest 
challenge

The country will start 2018 with the challenge to continue with the high growth rate ahead of the next parliamentary election, said former Bangladesh Bank governor Dr Salehuddin Ahmed. The country recorded its highest ever GDP growth—7.28 per cent—in FY 2016/17 despite a fall in major indicators, such as remittances and private sector investments, and slow export growth. Moreover, the

per-capita income of Bangladesh reached USD 1,610 in the last fiscal year. Dr Ahmed said it is common for Bangladesh to face macro-economic challenges in the election year due to political instability. On the other hand, the government may try to spend the development budget to implement projects so that it can make ‘visible’ progress without adhering to quality, he added.

“Definitely, the quality of work will not be ensured, as the allocated money will be spent hastily,” he said. He alleged that the central bank does not play its regulatory role properly due to pressure from the high ups of the government. “Corruption in the banking sector has increased tremendously and loans are concentrated among a specific faction due to the lack of transparency,” he said.

“There is a lack of skilled manpower in the banking sector, which has pushed it into challenges,” he added.

“Investment in the industrial sector will not pick up in the election year and employment will not be generated,” he said.

“The government should emphasize on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to increase employment generation,” he added.

If the government gives importance to the SME sector, new entrepreneurs will emerge, he pointed out.

About inflationary pressure, Dr Ahmed said there is no sign that it will come down in the next year. Prices of essential commodities are showing a rising trend, he added.

The former central bank governor also expressed concern over remittance transfer. The government has taken the initiative to reduce remittance transfer fees. It will not bring a good result, he said, adding, “We should send skilled manpower to the global market to increase remittance.”

Finally, Dr Ahmed suggested that budgetary allocation should be increased in the health care sector and education to ensure social development.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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