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16 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Bank scams, NPLs not new to economy

Says planning minister
STAFF REPORTER

Banking sector scams and non-performing loans (NPLs) are not new to the economy, planning minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has said. He was speaking on the country’s economic scenario at a press briefing at the NEC conference room yesterday. The banking sector in Bangladesh witnessed a fragile year in 2017 due to a spate of negative developments that plagued the country’s lenders. “This type of bankruptcy and the rising trend of non-performing loan can be found in the Indian economy as well,” the minister said. The future of the economy of Bangladesh is bright and an optimistic trend will persist throughout the year, he added. All economic indicators—exports, imports, revenue collection, and remittances—are on the right track, Kamal said, adding, “I hope that Bangladesh will graduate from the list of least developed countries (LDC) by 2021 as it has fulfilled the three criteria for the graduation to become a developing country.”

The three criteria are: per capita income, human assets and economic vulnerability. These indexes are considered by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), which reviews the list of LDCs every three years and recommends the inclusion and graduation of eligible countries.

According to the UN’s graduation threshold set at the triennial review in 2015, the gross national income (GNI) per capita of a developing country has to be USD 1,242 or above.

The minister said the average GNI per capita of Bangladesh has risen to USD 1,272 in the last three years. Regarding the other two indexes—human assets and economic vulnerability—a country has to score 66 or above and 32 or below respectively. Bangladesh’s score in the human assets index stood at 72.8, while it was 24.8 in the economic vulnerability index (EVI).

About employment generation, Mustafa Kamal said a total of 37 lakh people got jobs at home and abroad last year. Among them, 10 lakh people went outside the country for work, 14 lakh unpaid labours moved into paid jobs, and the rest 13 lakh got jobs in different sectors.

He, however, acknowledged that the growth of Bangladesh has not been not inclusive and there have been clear income disparities. He said it would take time to remove the existing income disparity.

Terming Bangladesh as the perfect destination for foreign direct investment (FDI), the minister said investors from different countries, including India, Japan, China, Canada and the US, are keen to invest in Bangladesh. “To achieve the FDI target, we must ensure undisrupted power and develop infrastructure,” he added.

About the capital market, Kamal suggested that shareholders should buy shares only after considering a company’s financial background and efficiency. Otherwise, small savers can make losses, he added.

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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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