National, Front Page

Economy getting on track

Published : 08 Jan 2021 11:04 PM | Updated : 09 Jan 2021 05:55 PM

Bangladesh like other countries has started taking sector-wise measures for rapid recovery of the economy that had to sail through an extraordinary time never witnessed by the world history because of the rogue Covid pandemic.

Bangladesh does not like to lag behind as the global economy has started Bouncing back with the rolling out of much-awaited Covid vaccine.

Internal use of gas and electricity for industrial and economic purposes has already witnessed a rise and handling of import-export cargoes at Chattogram Port significantly increased recently. The finance division has started fixing its different economic targets including investment, revenue collection, employment and gross domestic product (GDP).

"Amid this situation, the finance division is calculating the potentials for the next financial year based on the high growth of investment, employment and Gross Domestic Product (GDP)," said a finance division official.  

He said the number of loading-offloading of containers at the country's premier seaport-Chattogram Port- has already increased which indicates that the economy is returning to the right track in a positive way in the new year-2021.

After a recent meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal told reporters that the New Year will be conducive to the economy, adding that the economy is in the right place and in a good state.

The situation of Bangladesh is also changing with the revival of the world economy and the industrial production is gaining momentum in recent times. Business is also getting normal and that is why the demand for gas and electricity has already increased.

According to the Ministry of Finance, the amount of gas used in December stood at 2,700 million cubic meters, which was 1700 million cubic meters in April and before corona pandemic in last January, the demand was 2,500 million cubic meters.

Similarly, the demand for electricity has also gone up. In March, the demand for electricity came down to 5500 million kilowatts per hour.

 In December, 2020 the demand of power has jumped up to 7500 million kilowatts per hour.

Chattogram Port handled 1,35,000 import-export containers in April. The number of loading-offloading of containers witnessed a rise and the port handled about three lakh containers in December, 2020.

Former chief economist of Bangladesh Bank (BB) and former director general of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) MK Muzeri said that the general public would be more involved in the economic activities with the collection and inoculation of Covid-19 vaccines.

In such a situation, he said development activities would become normal.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance is setting new targets for the economic indices.

In the recent meeting of the Economic Co-ordination Council held at the Ministry of Finance it is  also highlighted that the state of the economy will improve this year.

The country's economy is recovering due to the implementation of stimulus package of Tk 1.21 lakh crore.

Considering the overall situation, the Ministry of Finance has set possible targets for the economy with high growth for the next financial year to make the economy not only normal but also a robust one.

Meanwhile, the finance division has set an investment target of Tk 11, 36, 889 crore for the next financial year. The revenue collection target has been set at Tk 2,83,700 crore and the potential size of GDP (gross domestic product) will be Tk 35, 52,778crore.

The targets of these indicators of the economy will be announced in the budget of the next financial year.

In this context, Mahbub Ahmed, former senior secretary to the finance division, said revenue collection will be a big challenge in the new year.

"In the meantime, the corona vaccine will come in the country. This will also bring back the desired pace in the economic activities," he added.

The news of vaccination is also changing the world trade situation. Export income of many products has also increased. According to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data, in July-December period of the current fiscal year 2020-21, the export earnings from knitwear increased by 6.39 per cent, woven garments 14.39 per cent and home textiles 18.83 per cent against the targets.

Leather exports increased by 1.05 per cent, chemical products by 8.84 per cent and handicraft exports by 23.36 per cent.

Trading in capital market has also bounced back and records are being made one after another in the prime bourse Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE).

On December 28, 2020, for the first time in the history of the country's stock market, the market capitalization of DSE exceeded Tk 4,41,828 crore.

With the global economy steadily becoming normal, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has already decided to increase the extraction of 5 lakh barrels of fuel oil daily from the first day of the new year hoping that the demand for fuel oil will go up.

There are several positive progress regarding the development of Covid-19 vaccine. First, the US drug maker Pfizer and German partner BioNTech informed that their vaccines have an efficacy of 90 percent.

Another US company Moderna also came up with the good news of Covid-19 vaccine.

The British pharmaceuticals company AstraZeneca then said that the COVID-19 vaccine they developed in collaboration with Oxford University could be up to 90 per cent effective.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a large-scale voluntary vaccination campaign against Covid-19 across Russia.

The United Kingdom (UK) has approved Pfizer's vaccine for Covid-19 and this vaccine is coming to Bangladesh soon.

With the news of the arrival of the corona vaccine, the world fuel oil market has turned around across the globe. The gold market is becoming normal.

Crude oil price rose by 1.75 percent to US4 48.04 per barrel. Earlier, fuel oil price witnessed a massive fall as the demand went down as global travel suffered a severe blow due to coronavirus pandemic.

Prices continued to fall sharply. Although the movement started later, the OPEC countries have kept the daily production up to 77 lakh barrels till December as demand was not at the normal level.