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Bangladesh won’t face problem if COVID-19 remains under control

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, COVID-19, Novel Coronavirus, Bangladesh


Bangladesh won’t face problem if COVID-19 remains under control

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said the government would not face any such problem if the country’s COVID-19 pandemic remains in control.

“If the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) remains in control, in that case I think there won’t be any such problem,” he said while responding to questions of reporters after chairing two separate meetings of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs and the Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase.

The Finance Minister said the arenas of global economy are aligned and related to one another adding, “If our foreign buyers are affected severely, then we might go through some tough time”.

He said despite the impacts, the government could control the domestic market through various fiscal and monetary policy measures. “But, if the impact from the international market lasts long, then there could be some problems,” added Kamal.

Answering a question, he said the government is going on with the COVID-19 vaccination program and once the Vaccination program is completed, then the infection rate and the impacts of COVID-19 would come down.

Replying to another question, the Finance Minister said that if the global economies do not face such problems due to the rise in COVID-19 infection rate, in the same way Bangladesh would not fall into such danger as the country would be able to withstand it.

When asked whether the government measures are adequate enough to contain the surge of COVID-19 infection rate, Kamal said apart from the ongoing vaccination program, the government has also issued an 18-point directive to contain the infection rate. “If the directives are followed properly, then I think the infection rate will come down”.

He told another questioner that there is no such apprehension or doubt right at the moment of not beginning the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccines adding there is no reason for not getting the vaccines as the government has already paid the money in this regard.

When sought comments over the latest GDP growth projection by the World Bank, the Finance Minister said the lending agency is satisfied with the methodology and parameters that Bangladesh follows as computing the GDP growth.

He said the government has been following the same methodology over the last 12 years for estimating the GDP growth and the lending agencies like the World Bank accept those finally.

“I think the difference between the projections of us and them (World Bank) is temporary as at the end of the year, they accept our estimations and calculations.” Kamal said adding that usually the World Bank gives their projections monthly, quarterly or periodically, but the government gives its final estimation at the end of a year.

According to the latest South Asia Economic Focus released by the World Bank, the outlook for Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan has been revised upward, supported by better than expected remittance inflows: Bangladesh’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to increase by 3.6 percent in 2021, Nepal’s GDP is projected to grow by 2.7 percent in the fiscal year 2021-22 and recover to 5.1 percent by 2023, Pakistan’s growth is expected to reach 1.3 percent in 2021, slightly above previous projections.

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