Coronavirus to lower GDP growth: Mustafa Kamal

Staff Correspondent | Published: 01:41, Mar 26,2020


Finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Wednesday expressed fear that the COVID-19 might affect the country’s economy in multiple ways and pull down its growth.

He expressed the fear during an exchange of views on the impact of coronavirus disease on economy with the officials of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund through video conference from the planning commission.

Mustafa Kamal said that the growth of the gross domestic product was projected at 8.2 per cent in the current fiscal year ending in June.

But the Asian Development Bank had already estimated that the country would loss 1.1 per cent of the GDP because of the COVID-19, he said.

He added that the overall situation was unfortunate for Bangladesh that obtained over seven per cent growth on average in last three fiscal years and was on course to attain the targets of the sustainable development goals of the UN by 2030.

According to a press release issued by the finance minister’s office, Bangladesh has already facing adverse impacts of lockdown applied globally to contain the spreading of the COVID-19.

Mustafa Kamal said that the readymade garments export to Europe and the USA was hampering due to shutdown in those countries.        

He also said that the big construction projects in Bangladesh were also facing huge trouble.

Mustafa Kamal observed that the inflow of remittance might also face downturn as many expatriates were returning home.

He also observed that the country like Bangladesh could not overcome the crisis stemmed out of COVID-19 outbreak alone and needed cooperation from development partners.

He hoped that Bangladesh would receive a substantial amount of aid from the WB and the IMF funds created to help member countries to tackle disasters like the COVID-19.

The WB has announced $14 billion fund and the IMF has announced $50 billion fund, 10 billion of which will be kept aside for low income countries, he added.

The video conference was attended, among others, by the finance division, internal resources division and economic relations division officials.

Bangladesh Bank governor Fazle Kabir joined the conference from his office.

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