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Bangladesh - May 12, 2022

Development may slow down for war

Says Mustafa Kamal

Staff Correspondent: Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has said the government may take hard decisions unless the global vulnerabilities caused by Russia-Ukraine war are over.
“You have to take hard decisions when there are tough times”, he told reporters after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase yesterday.
He said the prevailing global situation is not the same as before.
“We have to make a decision considering the overall situation of the world,” he said.
Clarifying his remark on hard decisions, the finance minister said: “It does not mean the wheel of the economy or our development will come to a standstill.” He said the government may decide to temporarily stop importing luxury items. “But we can buy those items two months or six months later”.
His remarks came when his attention was drawn to the Bangladesh Bank’s recent decision on increasing LC margin for import of luxury items and the prime minister’s instruction for not taking new road construction projects.

The minister said implementations of the non-essential projects could be deferred, but not cancelled.

“We are restructuring such projects so that we can effectively manage the situation. Through our management our economy will receive further pace,” he said.

He also said that nobody can say when the Russia-Ukraine war will come to an end.

He said the Covid situation is over and now it has no negative impact on any country. Now only the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war is prevailing across the world. Everybody is sharing the pain.

Responding to a question on frequent foreign trips of the government officials he said the prime minister has already issued directives against such tours unless these are very exclusive or essential from a strategic point of view.

Asked about the projected GDP growth at 7.2 per cent and doubts expressed by some economists, the FM defended the government’s position.

“We have calculated the GDP in the conventional way and no new component was added to it. Even there is no change in the methodology of calculation and it maintained the consistency.

“If anybody has any doubt, let them consult”, he said adding, that the stakeholders, especially IMF or World Bank, differed with our figures.

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