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Bangladesh - January 9, 2024

Challenge begins for economic stability

Mahfuja Mukul : The election is over. Now the economic challenge is coming forward. Dollar-Crisis Reserves Fall to Risk Levels Although the rate of remittances has increased, it has not yet reached a satisfactory level. Big deficit in revenue collection. The debt is increasing to meet the expenses and the government has to print money.
The prices of goods are unbridled. The middle class is disoriented under the pressure of increased costs. The stock market of Djerba is in decline. Increase in interest rates reduces the flow of credit to the private sector. There is increasing concern about investment. Western world sanctions-panic over election among garment sector entrepreneurs. All in all, several challenges are coming before the new government. How it will be handled, the pressure may fall on the government.
Talking to private sector entrepreneurs, businessmen and economists for a few days and reviewing the data of local and foreign media, it is known that the government may have to face economic challenges after the election. These issues are coming to the fore after the completion of the National Parliament elections amid much discussion, controversy, apprehension and criticism. As foreigners press for an acceptable election, their next reaction to the low voter turnout is not yet clear, but there is a fear that the future trade and investment situation will depend on their reaction.
Mahbubul Alam, president of FBCCI, the top organization of businessmen, said, “We expect a business-friendly government.”
Keeping the economy in order,we hope that the new government will take steps to solve various economic challenges such as the dollar crisis, gas crisis and other crises.
It is known that the country’s economy has not received the desired attention for some time due to the elections. And there was a kind of distrust among investors and entrepreneurs about the uncertainty ahead. Now that the elections are over, all eyes are on how the government will run the country’s economy in the coming days. Currently, the thorn in the neck of the economy is the dollar-crisis. Bangladesh Bank could not overcome the dollar-crisis even with step-by-step steps. On the contrary, it is decreasing. Last month’s remittance surge, IMF loan tranches, Korean loan and ADB loan added dollars, but while the reserves have stabilized somewhat, there are doubts about how long it will last.
After the elections, businessmen and entrepreneurs are talking about taking effective steps to prevent the West from imposing restrictions on world trade. They think that if there are sanctions, exports will decrease, investment will decrease. As a result, employment will also suffer. Overall, it will have a negative impact on the dollar, which could be detrimental to the entire economy.
Farooq Hasan, President of Garment Owners Association BGMEA said, “We should emphasize that the under-construction mega projects can be completed quickly and take advantage of them.” Corruption has increased a lot. It takes too much time to do any work. Let’s hope that the new government will give special importance to these aspects.
Due to the slowdown in the economy, there is a huge deficit in revenue. The National Board of Revenue (NBR) is gradually lagging behind in the collection of duties and taxes. The picture of revenue collection so far indicates that NBR is going to face a big deficit at the end of the year. In the first 5 months of the current financial year (July-November), there has been a deficit of Tk 16,459 crores in revenue collection including customs and taxes. During this period the total revenue collected was Tk 1 lakh 32 thousand 334 crores. It will be a major headache for the new government if the economy is not able to accelerate revenue growth. Such is the fear of analysts.
Executive President of BKMEA Mohammad Hatim said, energy crisis, harassment of revenue board and gross disparity in dollar rate. It is important to solve these problems after the elections. A decision must be made about those who do these things. Accountability is needed for this. If these are not removed, the order will decrease further.
Bangladesh-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCCI) General Secretary Al Mamun Mridha said, “We are lagging behind in preparing for the fourth industrial revolution and facing the new challenges of coming out of LDC graduation.” Preparations should be made to deal with these. Dependence on import duties should be reduced. If the country is stable after the elections, the economy will do well. Effective initiatives are required for this.

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