The government has set a 7.2 per cent economic growth target for the next fiscal year (FY), 2021-22, aiming at recovering from the economic shocks by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth target is 1.1 percentage points higher than the 6.1 per cent revised estimation in the outgoing FY 2021. In the previous FY, GDP growth was estimated at 5.24 per cent.
According to the budget speech, the total size of Bangladesh's GDP may rise to US$405.4 billion in the next FY 2022 from that of $363.2 billion in the outgoing FY 2021.
Finance Minister A H M Mustafa Kamal in his budget announcement on Thursday said the government targeted to increase the economy at 8.0 per cent rate in 2024, and make the country a developed one by 2041.
The country's economy was growing rapidly until FY 2019, which faced a setback in FY 2020 due to impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the local and external economies.
Over the previous three years since FY 2016, Bangladesh's economy was hovering at 7.0 per cent trajectory, the BBS statistics showed.
Mr Kamal said: "Bangladesh's sustained achievement of high GDP growth in the last decade has been halted temporarily due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic."
"Even though we achieved a record 8.15 per cent growth in FY 2019, it has slowed down to 5.2 per cent in FY 2020 due to the pandemic. The GDP growth rate was originally estimated to be 8.20 per cent for FY 2021 on the assumption that the economy would recover from the pandemic impact."
But the economic activities slowed down and the expected momentum in import and export activities did not take place due to continuation of the pandemic impact, the surge of its second wave, and resulting lockdowns in various countries in the world including Bangladesh, he added.
"However, considering the better-than-expected growth in remittance and the implementation of large stimulus packages by the government to facilitate economic recovery, the GDP growth rate has been revised at 6.1 per cent for the current FY."
"Alongside, the growth rate for FY 2022 has been fixed at 7.2 per cent, remaining consistent with the government's long-term plan and taking the post-Covid recovery situation into account," the finance minister said.
Mr Kamal in his speech also noted: "In the medium-term, strong domestic demand will be the main source of our growth. Our focus will be on increasing consumption and investment to stimulate domestic demand as well as enhancing exports to augment external demand. Growth in remittance will also continue in the medium-term."
In his plan to expedite GDP growth, Mr Kamal said their aim was to develop improved transport infrastructure as well as to ensure power and energy security through public investment.
The finance minister said acceleration of GDP growth and creation of employment by increasing supply side growth of the industrial sector were among their main targets.
He hoped that these targets would be achieved through rapid implementation of the works to establish the economic zones.
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