Govt to project GDP growth at 8.2pc in new budget

Mustafa dissatisfied with sluggish NBR activities

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:00, Apr 25,2019 | Updated: 00:29, Apr 25,2019

 
 

The government is likely to project growth in gross domestic product at 8.2 per cent and the rate of inflation at 5.5 per cent for financial year 2019-2020, officials said on Wednesday.
The projection on GDP and inflation, two vital economic indicators, was proposed at a coordination meeting of country’s macro-economy and budget monitoring at the finance ministry.
Finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal who presided over the meeting endorsed the projections, but expressed disappointment to slow progress in implementation of his previous directives on scanners and electronic cash register, said officials.
The finance minister would announce the growth projection in his first budget, scheduled to be placed on June 13.
The officials said the GDP projection for the next FY was slightly higher from the provisional estimate of 8.13 per cent in the outgoing fiscal.
World Bank, International Monetary Fund and Centre for Policy Dialogue have already raised questions about the provisional growth estimate for the outgoing fiscal.
On Tuesday at a briefing in Dhaka, CPD pointed out that the estimate of the GDP deflator growth at 4.23 per cent was significantly lower than the inflation rate of 5.48 per cent in 2018-19.
On CPD’s observation, Mustafa, after a meeting of the cabinet committee on economic affairs in the afternoon at the cabinet division, quipped that the government was superior to CPD.
The minister said CPD should ask for official explanation to Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics about its estimation of deflator at 4.23 per cent.
Mustafa refused to disclose the decisions taken at the macro-economy and budget monitoring saying that those would be disclosed only after getting approval from the prime minister.
Officials said the finance minister expressed dissatisfaction with the National Board of Revenue officials who attended the meeting.
Mustafa wanted to know reasons behind slow progress in procurement of scanners for ports and electronic cash register at the meeting, they said.
Three members of NBR who attended the meeting in absence of the NBR chairman replied that the board was following the procurement rule to purchase the equipment, added the officials.
Revenue collections by NBR grew only by 7 per cent in first eight months of the financial year 2018-2019 posing serious challenge for the government to maintain a prudent fiscal measure, they said.
From July to February in FY19 NBR managed to collect Tk 1,33,460 crore against the annual target of Tk 2,96,201 crore leaving the board to collect Tk 1,62,741 crore in remaining four months.
The government has decided to revise the NBR target by 22,860 crore this year.
CPD has projected that the revenue shortfall might be around Tk 85,000 crore. 

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