Space For Rent

Space For Rent
Friday, July 10, 2015, Ashar 26, 1422 BS, Ramadan 22, 1436 Hijr

Electricity in every home by 2020
7th 5-yr Plan envisages; Development partners hail BD's LMIC status
Published :Friday, 10 July, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 13
Staff Correspondent
The government plans to supply electricity to every home by 2020. In view of this a plan has been incorporated in the 7th five year plan (2016-2020) to complete the task.
Planning Commission's general economy department member Dr Shamsul Alam, at a view exchange programme on Thursday, presented a keynote paper where he mentioned about the plan.
The programme, held at the NEC Conference Room at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in city, was attended by representatives of the development partners.
Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith and Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, among others, were present at the discussion.
Local Consultative Group co-chair and Department for International Development (DFID) country representative Sarah Cooke spoke on the occasion while Economic Relations Division (ERD) Senior Secretary Mohammad Mejbahuddin made the welcome remarks.
The keynote paper further said all students of SSC and HSC will be brought under internet coverage.
Moreover, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) target will be 8.0 per cent while inflation will be limited by 5.5 per cent.
Muhith in his speech said that the listed job creation and private sector mobilisation remain as two major challenges towards implementing the Seventh Five Year Plan (FY16-FY20).
The Finance Minister said the government's projection for additional job creation during the 7th FYP is 18.7 million whereas the new addition to workforce would be $ 12.5 billion adding that this target is very ambitious.
Citing the target of raising private investment to 26.6 per cent of GDP by FY20 from the present level of 22.07 per cent, Muhith said, "The private sector has a dormant potential and it needs to be explored. We seriously need to think about it."
He also expressed that foreign contributions to the development financing needs to be accelerated for the private sector.
Muhith said the government is planning to create an area or centre, nearly 30 kilometres outside Dhaka city, near Mawa, based on the proposed expressway from Airport to Zero Point and Zero Point to there.
He said this will be implemented by 2017 and is expected to drive out some population from Dhaka.
About the political problems in the country, the Finance Minister said he had been telling for some time that the government was trying to create the economic forces in such a way that this kind of resistance or indiscipline to the peace of the country just disappears and it happened in 2015.
"The economic forces will forbid others to undertake disturbing activities which creates problems," he added.
He also highlighted some areas which would need special attention during the implementation of the 7th Five Year Plan that includes education, health, agriculture and skill development.
Congratulating the government on behalf of the development partners on Bangladesh's graduating to a lower middle income country (LMIC) status, LCG co-chair and DFID Country Representative Sarah Cooke said, "Bangladesh has made a significant progress in reducing poverty while the country has already met or is on right track to meet most of the MDGs."
She said the development partners want to help Bangladesh tackle the challenges as well as to cement the transition of Bangladesh to a middle-income status.
Sarah also underscored the need for speeding up the DPP and TPP approval process in development projects to yield better outcomes.
By the terminal year of 7th Five Year Plan in FY 20, the government plans to raise the GDP growth to 8 per cent, contain inflation at 5.5 per cent, raise gross domestic investment to 34.4 per cent of GDP, raise private investment to 26.6 per cent of GDP while public investment to 7.8 per cent of GDP, and raise national savings to 32.1 per cent of GDP.
Regarding the low level of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country, the Finance Minister said the FDI was $ 1.57 billion in calendar year 14 whereas the target of attracting FDI has been set at $ 9.6 billion in FY 20. "So, this is one area of great importance where the development partners could make some contributions."
Talking about corruption, the veteran minister referred to the figure revealed recently by the Prime Minister that disturbances to peace caused loss to a little more than one per cent of GDP.
He also said a study is there that reveals that the cost of corruption to GDP is also 2 to 3 per cent which is a very serious problem. "Punitive measures and detection measures are not adequate enough to deal with this problem and this government has taken help from ICT in this regard."

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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