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GDP growth 6.5pc in nine months

WT24 Desk

Bangladesh in the first nine months (July-March) of the current 2014-15 fiscal registered 6.5 per cent GDP (Gross domestic product) growth.
“The rate of GDP growth stood at 6.5 per cent in nine months, but it would be 7 per cent if there was no political unrest in last three months,” Planning Minister A H M Mustafa Kamal told a “Meet the Press” organized by the Ministry of Planning at NEC conference room in the city’s Sher-e-Banglanagar. During the period, a total of Taka 79,978 crore has been collected as revenue, which was Taka 68,698 crore during the same period of the previous fiscal. The growth rate in revenue collection is 16.42 per cent.  Replying to a query, the planning minister said no factory was shut down during the political turmoil unleashed by BNP and its allies, but profit margin became narrow due to air shipment of the products instead of ship delivery.

About the World Bank’s projection of Bangladesh Economy where it said the country’s GDP growth would be 5.6 per cent, Kamal termed the projection as ‘imaginary’. The World Bank on Sunday in its report “Bangladesh Development Update Report 2015” predicted “Bangladesh economic growth would be between 6.4 and 6.6 per cent in fiscal 2014-15, if there was no political turmoil, but now it would be at 5.6 per cent”.  It said the political turmoil in the first quarter of 2015 cost the country’s one per cent of GDP, amounting to US$ 2.2 billion.

Mentioning progress in agriculture sector, the planning minister said in the last 9-month production of Aush, Aman paddy stood at 155 lakh metric tons while it was 153 lakh metric tons in the previous fiscal.   He hoped production in different sub-sectors including boro, wheat and potato would also increase.  The industry sector has so far witnessed 9.38 per cent growth while SME sector 10.66 per cent, power 6.58 per cent, steel and iron 14.12 sector, and wholesale and retail sale 8.54 per cent.

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