The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) has questioned this fiscal year’s growth estimate of 8.13% citing inconsistencies with various economic indicators.
At a press briefing organized by CPD, on Tuesday—at the CIRDAP auditorium in Dhaka—the organization shared their analysis of “The First 100 Days of the New Government” and “Tracking Electoral Pledges and Implications for the National Budget for Fiscal Year 2019-20.”
CPD has also said the past 100 days of government lack effort, enthusiasm, and initiative.
The CPD analysis said that the projected GDP growth in FY19 is largely driven by the growth of the manufacturing sector, followed by the service sector.
The report said that the provisional estimate is considered using varying levels of availability of required data. It is also known that while estimating GDP in Bangladesh, for a large part of the total value added, real time annual data in not considered.
Such inconsistent evidence between GDP estimates and proxy indicators suggests that there is a need to test the robustness of growth estimates so as to have credible policy guidance, the report added.
CPD said the objective of their report is to review the present economic growth trajectory of Bangladesh to: understand its sources, reliability, and sustainability; to assess to what extent policy measures taken over the first hundred days of the government likely to be “front-loaded” or “back loaded”; to appraise consistency between electoral pledges and post-election policy measures; and to allocate priorities can be improved qualitatively and quantitatively in view of the forthcoming national budget.
Debapriya Bhattacharya, CPD distinguished fellow, said: “In terms of our observation, the first hundred days of the new government remain as usual – a lack of effort, enthusiasm, and initiatives. We expected more than that.
“We have to ensure that the discussion of complete development remains in the discussion of growth, as well as the indicators, and data, to measure estimated growth; this also needs to be accessible to the public,” he added.
Towfiqul Islam Khan, senior research fellow of CPD emphasized the importance of: economic growth, public financing, and private investment, banking sector, as well as the external sector.
The report said through 2010-2017, Bangladesh’s economic growth has been relatively less employment-generating, while economic growth has been mostly driven by productivity of labour; the benefits of growth are likely to be mostly reaped by the capital owners within the economy.