Muhith at it again

May 31, 2013

The finance minister, AMA Muhith, on Thursday once again differed with the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics estimate on the country’s GDP growth of 6.03 per cent for the current fiscal
year saying that the growth would not be less than 6.3 per cent.
The minister did the same thing in the previous financial year 2011-2012 when he had ditched the BBS’ provisional estimate of 6.32 per cent growth for that year saying GDP growth would near 7 per cent.
In the end, the BBS came out with the final GDP estimate of 6.23 per cent for FY 2011-2012, even below the provisional estimate and miles below the finance minister’s calculation.
About the BBS estimate for the current fiscal year 2012-2013, Muhith on Thursday said, ‘Growth rate in the current fiscal year won’t be less than 6.3 per cent; it can be as high as 6.7 to 6.8 per cent.’
The finance minister in the current budget has set a target of achieving 7.2 per cent GDP growth while international lenders like World Bank and Asian Development Bank projected the GDP growth would be around 5.7-5.8 per cent
Mentioning the public sector performance as excellent, Muhith said the flow of foreign aid was also good in the current year. ‘As a result, the public sector investment has gone up by 1.65 per cent this year.’
He said that with this increase, the deficit in the private sector has been covered and in some cases surpassed expectations ‘If there is higher investment, the growth rates go upward.’
Differing with BBS estimate on the agriculture growth, he said yield in potato, boro rice and maize would be higher in the outgoing year than the previous year.
Muhith said potato production would be about 10 per cent more than the last year and is expected to total 88 lakh tonnes. Boro yield is also expected to be higher than last year while the production of maize would be substantially higher to around 22 lakh tonnes.
Earlier in June 2012, Muhith, differing with the BBS estimate of GDP growth for FY 2011-2012, had told parliament ‘In my opinion, the BBS estimate did not take into account a number of factors, like the bumper boro harvest, surge in internal demand from the month of April, our remarkable achievement in power generation and improved ADP implementation,’ he said.
‘For all these reasons, I am confident that by the end of this month — the closing month of the current fiscal year — our GDP growth will stand in the neighbourhood of 7 per cent,’ he said.

-With New Age input

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