Committee to assess recession impacts awaits cabinet’s nod

January 31, 2009

Staff Correspondent
Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Friday said a high-powered committee, which will monitor global recession and work out remedies for its adverse effects on Bangladesh’s economy, would be formed soon.
‘It’ll be there anytime. It’s awaiting the Cabinet’s approval,’ he told reporters at the 3-day Bangladesh Chemical Congress which began on Friday.
On January 21 Muhith told a delegation of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association that the government would announce the committee within two weeks.
On Friday Muhith did not go into details about the structure of the committee that will have the authority to take instant decisions and formulate action plans to fight the challenges emerging from the global market.
According to reports, Muhith is set to head the committee which will include political and business leaders and experts to watch and weigh the impacts of the global financial crisis on Bangladesh’s economy.
Experts have opined that the issues of concern that deserve close attention by a high-profile standing committee are mainly the impacts on the country’s exports and remittance inflow.
Businessmen and independent experts and trade bodies have so far suggested that the most effective way to enable the country to face the challenges would be to reduce lending rates to a tolerable level, particularly for the export-oriented and manufacturing sectors, and keep the exchange rate stable and competitive.
Other possible measures would be giving priority to the agriculture, industry and services sectors, preferring bank loans to trade financing, restricting public borrowing from the banking system and creating transparency in the capital market.
As per the proposed working process of the political committee, the stakeholders will bring up the issues of concern like interest rate and exchange rate at the committee, which will take remedial measures accordingly.
On Thursday the Bangladesh Bank Quarterly Report recommended close watch on the impact of the global recession on the country’s exports and remittance.
The theme of the Bangladesh Chemical Congress 2008, organised by Bangladesh Chemical Society at TSC in the Dhaka University, was ‘Chemistry for Clean Water’.
The finance minister told the conference that the new government is pledge-bound to ensure arsenic-free water by 2013.
Prime Minister’s adviser Alauddin Ahmed, DU’s vice-chancellor AAMS Arefin Siddique, visiting Nobel Laureate and Professor Emeritus of Taiwan Prof Yuan T Lee and chairman of the DU’s Department of Chemistry’s Professor Tajmeri SA Islam also spoke at the inaugural session chaired by Professor M Muhibur Rahman.


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