Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal yesterday reiterated that the economy of Bangladesh is in good shape as it is getting more dynamic and stronger day by day and there is no mismatch or distortion in the economy.
“We’re immuned, our debt to GDP ratio is less and we never fail in debt servicing. Our fiscal and monetary policy is aligned to the national budget and the five-year plan. There is no distortion or mismatch, so I think we’re in good shape. We’re aware fully about the demands of our people and thus we’re working for their satisfaction,” he said.
The finance minister was talking to reporters virtually after the day’s meetings of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs and the Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase (CCGP).
Turning to the buoyancy in inward remittance flow, he said that over Taka 40,000 crore remittance came to Bangladesh over the last six months and at the year-end, this amount would reach around Taka 70,000 to Taka 80,000 crore.
“Since remittances are now coming through official channel, a great dynamism has been infused in the economy which has also some multiplier impact. The country’s economy is getting more dynamic and stronger and I think we’ve become successful in most of the cases,” he said.
Asked about the possible challenges of the economy in the current year, he said the economy of a country is dependent on many parameters, but there have been some changes in thoughts considering the present pandemic situation and thus the current budget will be recast which is also very much rational.
“The whole of the world knows very well the current situation and our goal is to harness and exploit the available resources to the satisfaction of the government and the country’s people and thus try to gain maximum which the government is doing nicely under the able leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” he said.
The finance minister said compared to other neighboring countries, Bangladesh is doing well and would continue to do well as the premier has been planning things in a pragmatic way so that it becomes conducive to the welfare of the people of the country.
He went on saying, “As a member of her team, we’re doing our works with the available resources.”
Ruling out the possibility of major deficit in the macroeconomic indicators, Kamal said there would not be any such deficit, adding that the customs duty has come down due to downtrend in imports.
He, however, noted that the other sectors are well as direct taxation either from individual or corporate is having a good growth rate. “Of late, we’ll start having a very good growth rate in VAT. We’re comparatively ahead of other economies as our economy is immuned,”
Asked about the trend of whitening undisclosed money in the current fiscal year (FY21) as over Taka 10,000 crore was disclosed in tax returns, Kamal said the government wants that the undisclosed money to come into the mainstream of economy for which such provision has been kept in the budget.
He said such provision has been allowed in the real estate sector since it is a big area of the economy while stamp duty has been reduced so that the government could get more revenue from flat registration purpose. He also said that more undisclosed money is also being whitened in the capital market availing of the opportunity given by the government.
The finance minister said although interest rates and tax rates were supposed to remain higher earlier in the country, the interest rate has now come down. But it is still higher than some economies. “We’ve been successful in this regard and we’ll have to consider the positive sides of these.”
Replying to another question over the non-submission of tax returns by all TIN holders, Kamal said that the government would have to go for full automation of the revenue sector, adding, “Until we’re successful in digitizing our system, the problems will persist. But we’re giving highest priority to full automation of our revenue sector.”
When asked to evaluate his performances as he completed two years as the finance minister, Kamal left the matter to the people, saying that he had been working relentlessly for the country and its people.