Prioritise wise allocation of resources, innovation: Atiur Rahman
Former governor of the Bangladesh Bank Dr Atiur Rahman has recommended the government to prioritise wise allocation of resources, innovation and sustainable development to successfully navigate through the current global crisis which is weighing heavy on the country's economy.
"There is no telling when the Russia-Ukraine war will stop. Countries burdened with foreign debt are in dire straits. As seen in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, their economic distress suddenly appeared. Even though Bangladesh's economy is still not as bad as theirs, there is still a lot of tension," he said at an event organised by the Institute of Chartered Secretaries of Bangladesh (ICSB) on Saturday.
"The most important thing is that our currency has devalued this time. We had to do this because our balance of payments has gone negative. We are also selling a lot of dollars from reserves to keep it up," Atiur Rahman said in his keynote paper.
"As a result, reserves are shrinking by $1Billion per month. Secondly, the prices of our imported goods are increasing due to the devaluation of taka. Import prices have gone up by 25%-27%, because of which the prices of domestic products are increasing. This is a big crisis for us," he added.
He said Moody's Investors Service revised the outlook on Bangladesh's banking system to negative. Keeping these issues in mind, the government should take a policy, he observed.
Dr Atiur Rahman said that prudent allocation of resources will be pivotal and innovation and sustainability must be prioritised.
He also said that agriculture has been the vanguard of the macro economy of Bangladesh and it will continue to be key for the process of inclusive recovery.
Chattogram Stock Exchange Chairman Asif Ibrahim said, to mitigate the impact of the global events on Bangladesh's economy, the country needs to adopt a multifaceted approach.
"The government needs to provide support to the informal sector workers who have been most affected by the pandemic. Second, the government needs to provide support to the export-oriented industries. Third, the government needs to diversify Bangladesh's trade relationships to reduce the country's reliance on any one country. Finally, the government needs to invest in renewable energy sources to reduce the country's reliance on fossil fuels," he recommended.
The Chief Guest of the event – Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) Executive Chairman Lokman Hossain Miah said, "We should rationalise spending and prioritise sustainability of economic growth and resilience."
Mohammad Asad Ullah FCS, president of ICSB and chairman of the Professional Development Sub-Committee chaired the session, also attended by Tanvir Ahmed Siddiqui ACS, company secretary, Prime Bank Limited.