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Major Economic Challenges: A Pre-Budget Analysis

MONTHLY BANGLADESH ECONOMIC UPDATE, APRIL, 2016

MEU-January-2016The Unnayan Onneshan (UO), an independent multidisciplinary think tank, in its pre-budget issue of Bangladesh Economic Update, April 2016, calls for far-sighted actions toward formulating 2016-17 budget against the backdrop of poor implementation status of 2015-16 budget.  
The current size of the economy demands larger national budgets, but the country’s incapacity to efficiently implement the current budgets does not suggest a prospect of substantial increase in the size of national budgets in the coming years, comments the UO.

In addition, taking account of the poor implementation status of allocations for physical and social infrastructure, and high youth unemployment rate, the think tank puts particular emphasis on the move toward expanding productive capacity in the economy through ensuring quality investment in physical and social infrastructure and thus creating job for the youth .

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INSTITUTIONAL FRAGILITY OF CENTRAL BANKING IN BANGLADESH

MONTHLY BANGLADESH ECONOMIC UPDATE, MARCH, 2016

MEU-March-2016The current issue of the Bangladesh Economic Update reveals the institutional fragilities of the country’s central bank against the backdrop of low effectiveness of monetary policies and poor risk management, driven by lax oversight and captured governance, resulting in scams, declining growth in disbursement of credit to private sector, rising non-performing loans, and excess liquidity.  Noting the linkage between expansion of credit and growth in investment, the Unnayan Onneshan cautions that sluggish rate of growth in private sector credit will further drag down investment and consequently slide down the expansion of the gross domestic product (GDP). Pointing to the increased non-performing loans and low returns on asset and equity, the think-tank observes that the sector is inundated with severe structural rigidities resulting in the disappointment of risk management in the sector. The Unnayan Onneshan recommends improvement in supervision and regulatory capacity of the central bank and streamlining of enforcement of prudential guidelines in order to check the incidences of scams and fraudulence and thus to ensure efficacy of risk management in the banking system.

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RECENT TRENDS IN AGRICULTURE, INDUSTRY, AND SERVICE SECTORS

MONTHLY BANGLADESH ECONOMIC UPDATE, FEBRUARY, 2016

MEU Oct 2015The issue of the Bangladesh Economic Update cautions that lower growth in agriculture, underperformance in medium and large scale manufacturing industries coupled with greater product and market concentration of export, and slow expansion of service sector may hinder the achievement of 7 per cent growth target.  Calling for adoption of strategies particularly focusing on the expansion of productive capacity, the Unnayan Onneshan advocates prudent harmonisation of macroeconomic policies that will foster agricultural growth, bolster industry, and expand service sector by creating adequate employment opportunities in the economy.

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PUBLIC INVESTMENT IN PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE: AN APPRAISAL

MONTHLY BANGLADESH ECONOMIC UPDATE, JANUARY, 2016

MEU-January-2016The Bangladesh Economic Update  reveals that the low implementation status of public investment in physical and social infrastructure in the backdrop of continued sluggish private investment may hinder achievement of the targeted rate of growth in gross domestic product (GDP).  Taking account of five major sectors of public investment - roads and highways, bridges, heath, education, and social security and welfare - the research organisation evinces that the annual development programme (ADP) implementation status in these sectors became lower during July-December period of FY 2015-16 than the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year.   Taking account of the unsatisfactory quality of public investment in physical and social infrastructure and current state of sluggish private investment due to infrastructure shortage and lack of business confidence, the research organisation emphasises that the government must focus on stimulating private investment and ensuring effective utilisation of public investment in addition to channeling adequate resources into social sectors that give particular impetus to the improvement in human development.

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HALF-YEARLY ASSESSMENT OF BANGLADESH ECONOMY: TRENDS AND CHALLENGES

MONTHLY BANGLADESH ECONOMIC UPDATE, DECEMBER, 2015

MEU-December-2015The Unnayan Onneshan in its half yearly assessment of the economy for FY 2015-16 states that sluggish private investment, declining growth in revenue collection, and underperformance in external sector set inertia on the growth in gross domestic product (GDP). In addition to unsatisfactory trends in these major macroeconomic indicators, improvement in three basic dimensions of development – long and healthy life, access to knowledge, and decent standard of living – has not moved upward compared to those of other developing nations, as reflected in the Human Development Report 2015.    The think tank also points out that that structural bottlenecks in the forms of income inequality together with inequality in access to health and education, multidimensional poverty, and joblessness particularly among the youth are likely to put additional pressures on the progress of the economy.

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