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Govt set to target $2,326 per-capita income

FHM Humayan Kabir | June 08, 2020 00:00:00

The government is going to raise the country's per capita income target by $153 to US$2,326 in the next fiscal, despite the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, officials said on Saturday.

The per capita gross national income or GNI target will be documented in the upcoming national budget, which is expected to be placed before parliament on June 11.

For fiscal year 2020, the authorities expect the per head earnings of the population to reach $2,173, up by $264.

According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), the per capita GNI was recorded at $1,909 in the FY 2019.

"The per capita income growth in the next fiscal may not be achieved at an impressive rate that the country has seen over the last few years. But per head earnings will rise as our both gross domestic product and the gross national income will be rising in the coming year too," said a Finance Ministry official.

He said after bouncing back from the COVID shocks, the GDP growth could return to its impressive trend in FY2021 as the government was expecting 8.2 per cent expansion in the next fiscal.

In the outgoing fiscal, the GDP may grow at a slower pace than that of more than a decade, but the next financial year would offset it, the official predicted.

Meanwhile, with the help from other ministries and agencies concerned, the Ministry of Finance has already prepared the medium-term macro-economic framework for the next three years.

The fresh framework will be placed before the House along with rolling out the national budget, finance officials said.

Bangladesh has been one of top five-fastest growing economies in the world with its stunning GDP growth rate of more than 7.0 per cent over the last few years.

Breaking the five-year "6.0 per cent growth trap", the economy chalked out the 7.0 per cent growth band in FY2016.

Then it took only two years to surpass the 7.0 per cent rate in FY2019 when the economy expanded at a rapid clip of 8.15 per cent.

The outgoing fiscal year's target was to eke out 8.2 per cent GDP growth, but the coronavirus pandemic has made reaching that goal highly unlikely.

Nevertheless, the finance officials appeared to be bullish, saying the GDP growth would not be lower than the 6.0 per cent rate in FY 2020.

In the proposed perspective plan 2041, the government is expected to set a target to attain the developed country status, graduating from a lower middle income country rank.

An additional secretary at the finance ministry told the FE that Bangladesh was on a right track to reach the goal as enshrined in the 20-year vision plan.

Member of the General Economics Division Professor Shamsul Alam said except the coronavirus impact, Bangladesh's economy had been doing well over the last one decade.

The country would certainly graduate to a developing nation status by 2024 and would also become a developed nation by 2041 as its development plans and strategies are moving towards the right path, he noted.

"We hope our GDP as well as the per capita income would expand in the next FY2021, overcoming the current fiscal's coronavirus shocks," Prof Alam added.

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