Political committee to face recession-effect to be in place anytime, awaits cabinet nod

January 31, 2009

UNB, Dhaka
Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Friday said the proposed high-powered political committee would be in place anytime now to face the possible affects of the global recession on the country’s economy.
“It’ll be there anytime. It’s awaiting cabinet approval,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a 3-day Bangladesh Chemical Congress that began on Friday morning at the auditorium of Teacher-Student Centre (TSC) of Dhaka University.
On January 21, Muhith said the government would announce the committee within 15 days. As per the proposal, the Finance Minister would head the committee to be represented by political leaders, trade body leaders and stakeholders of trade, industry, business and the economy to keep close watch on the affects of the financial crisis and take remedial measures.
However, he did not elaborate the detailed structure of the committee that would have the authority to take instant decision to face any emerging challenges.
Earlier, Muhith told reporters that he would invite representation even from the opposition political parties.
The task force of officials formed earlier in this regard would work side by side while the Bangladesh Better Business Forum (BBBF) would continue to function.
As per the expert opinions so far, the issues of concern that deserve close attention by the proposed committee would include the impact mainly on the country’s exports and remittance inflow.
Bangladesh Bank Quarterly Report released on Thursday recommended close watch on the impact of global recession on the country’s exports and wage earners’ remittance while it stressed the need for looking further the exchange rate situation of Bangladesh taking into consideration the adjustment of currencies in the neighbouring and competitor countries.
Experts and trade bodies so far suggested possible mechanisms to face the challenge would be to reduce lending rates to a tolerable level particularly for the export-oriented and manufacturing sectors, and keeping exchange rate stable and competitive.
Other possible measures would be giving priority to agriculture, industry and services sectors while considering bank loans instead of trade financing, restricting public borrowing from the banking system and bringing transparency in the capital market.
As per the proposed working process of the political committee, the stakeholders would bring up the issues (of concern) like interest rate and exchange rate at the committee, which would take remedial measures accordingly.
Addressing the congress, the Finance Minister said the condition of safe drinking water has been better in Bangladesh, but worsened in many ways to contaminate.

Courtesy: thebangladeshtoday.com

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