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Growth Narrative and the State of Living Standard of the Masses Year-end Assessment of Bangladesh Economy

Monthly Bangladesh Economic Update, December 2017

December 2017

The Unnayan Onneshan (UO), an independent multidisciplinary think tank, in its year-end assessment of the economy reveals that the growth narrative contrasts living standard of the masses.

The Issue identifies the medium-term macroeconomic challenges in the forms of inequality of opportunities, arrested productive capacity, ineffectual macroeconomic policy framework and resultant growth hiding in shadows looming large.

“The causes of elapsing prospects are more institutional. The gradual corrosion of institutions has constrained allocation of resources to channel efficiently into the productive sectors in order for the economy to get higher returns in terms of reduced welfare gap and expanded productive capacity,” observes the last issue of the UO’s monthly Bangladesh Economic Update.

 

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Revenue Mobilisation: Recent Trends and Imminent Challenges

Monthly Bangladesh Economic Update, November 2017

November 2017

The Unnayan Onneshan (UO), an independent multidisciplinary think tank, in its monthly publication of Bangladesh Economic Update November 2017 reveals that collection of NBR tax revenue falls short of target in the first four months of the current fiscal year.

For the period of July–October 2017, revenue target was set at Tk. 19575 crore for income and travel tax, Tk. 25331.01 crore for value added tax (VAT) at the local level, and Tk. 20552.57 crore for import and export tax, while the actual collections fall short by 13 percent, 9.55 percent, and 7.78 percent respectively.

Analysing historical data of revenue mobilization, the think tank comments that the trend in the growth of revenue collection has never been stable, let alone increasing. In view of the fact that revenue collection has particularly been assuming a declining trend in the periods of national elections since the FY 1994-95, the UO fears a drop in revenue growth in the coming years.

 

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External Sector, Inflation and Standard of Living

Monthly Bangladesh Economic Update, October 2017

October 2017

Recent rise in import, particularly import of consumer goods, vis-à-vis export earnings is likely to spell trouble for low income people whose standard of living deteriorates amid frequent price hikes in the commodity market.

The Unnayan Onneshan (UO), an independent multidisciplinary think-tank, in its monthly publication of the ‘Bangladesh Economic Update’ October 2017, fears so.

Taking account of the increasing trend in inflation rate, the research organization projects that at the end of the current fiscal year, food inflation is likely to stand at 9.4 percent in the absence of immediate price stabilization measures.

Such increase in price in the commodity market coupled with reduced production of food grains, decline in real wage, and lack of employment opportunities is likely to adversely affect people’s standard of living on the one hand and threaten overall food security in the country, comments the research organization.

 

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Debt and Deficit: Trends and Challenges

Monthly Bangladesh Economic Update, September 2017

September 2017

The Unnayan Onneshan (UO), an independent multidisciplinary think-tank, in its monthly publication of the ‘Bangladesh Economic Update’ September 2017, reveals that persistently increasing outstanding debt along with high debt-service payment every year is likely to lower development finance and escalate intergenerational debt burden in the future.

The research organisation in its eighth year of this monthly publication notes that at the end of FY 2016-17, the total outstanding domestic debt has increased by 13.25 percent. According to the most recent data, the total outstanding external debt burden increased by 10.1 percent at the end of FY 2015-16. On the other hand, rate of growth in net foreign aid decreased to 2.10 percent in FY 2016-17 from 17.54 percent in FY 2015-16.

The think tank finds that the debt-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio is on the rise since FY 2013-14. Referring to the recent data published by the central bank, the UO states that the outstanding domestic debt as percentage of GDP was 15.45 percent in FY 2013-14, 15.50 percent in FY 2014-15, and 15.78 percent in FY 2015-16, and 15.83 percent in FY 2016-17.

 

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External Sector: Recent Trends and Challenges

Monthly Bangladesh Economic Update, August 2017

August 2017

The Unnayan Onneshan (UO), an independent multidisciplinary think-tank, in its monthly publication of the ‘Bangladesh Economic Update’ August 2017, reveals that monumental deficit in current account together with declining wage earner’s remittance and foreign aid disbursement exerts immense pressure on the country’s balance of payment.

Calling for a thorough reexamination of the current trade and industrial policies to address the structural bottlenecks and creation of a stable business climate to attract increased inflow of private investment including FDI, the UO urges for the adoption of new strategies to expand country’s productive capacities that enhance utilization of available resources through efficient entrepreneurial capabilities and increased production linkages.

Referring to declining rate of growth in inflows of wage earner’s remittance, the think tank shows that the inflow of remittance declined by 14.48 percent and stood at USD 12769 million in FY 2016-17 compared to the previous fiscal year. On monthly basis, the remittance inflow declined by 4.18 percent in June 2017 compared to May 2017 and stood at USD 1214.61 million, which further declined by 8.15 percent to USD 1115.57 million in July 2017.

 

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