Country’s economy may grow by 8.25 per cent in the current fiscal year of 2018-2019, said planning minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Thursday.
The gross domestic product growth of last fiscal year (FY 2017-2018) would also be much higher than that of preliminary estimation of 7.65 per cent, he said at a press briefing held at the NEC auditorium in Dhaka.
The final estimation of the GDP for last fiscal year that may be close to 8 per cent will be announced later this month, he said.
The government initially projected economic growth for the last fiscal year at 7.4 per cent but the preliminary estimation of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics show that the economy grew by 7.65 per cent in the year.
He said that the GDP growth of the country would reach 9 per cent in next five years.
Kamal hoped that Bangladesh’s economy in terms
of purchasing power parity would surpass the economy of many countries like South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Colombia by 2023.
Replying to a question whether there was any possibility of slowdown of economic growth in the year of national elections, he said holding of polls is a regular process in any country.
Economic growth usually slows down in the election years, but planning ministry has already given instructions to all secretaries of the government so that anything like that does not happen in the year in the country.
‘We have asked secretaries that we but not bureaucrats would arrange elections. So, remain careful about implementation of the annual development programme so that economic growth is not hampered,’ he said.
Regarding election-time government, he said that a small-sized cabinet headed by prime minister Sheikh Hasina would be formed within a few days.
On the issue of use of electronic voting machines in the national polls, Kamal said that he was not against purchase and use of EVMs in the elections.
There is a project on purchase of EVMs at the planning ministry, he said, adding that the ministry made a query on how the machines would be used.
‘There should be a clear instruction on the issue,’ he added.
Planning secretary Md Ziaul Islam, General Economics Division member Shamsul Alam and senior officials of the ministry were present at the briefing.