It is very hard to accept that the economic growth of Bangladesh would drop to two to three percent in the current fiscal year – which has been performing very well in recent years.
Covid-19 has no significant adverse impact on food production, especially on the production of the main crop, paddy, as the harvesting of "Boro" has yet to start.
Good agricultural production could ensure food sufficiency, which would help to boost the aggregate demand.
As the agricultural sector contributes about 14 percent of the GDP and more than 40 percent of the employed labour force is engaged in agriculture, the sector could help achieve more than two percent growth.
The fall of growth rate to two to three percent indicates almost all sectors of the economy are collapsing. The situation in the country has not yet descended to such a bad stage.
It is not the proper time to assess the full impact of Covid-19. The World Bank compiled the report in the very early stages of the pandemic and the report assessed the economy very aggressively.
It is true that the industry sector is facing difficulties due to the current shutdown of the economy. However, there is no reason that the growth in the sector would drop to two percent from 12.7 percent the previous year.
The total economic impact of Covid-19 depends on how long the virus remains in the country. The services sector could turn rapidly when the shutdown is terminated. Growth of the service sector will not fall as the World Bank has projected.
It is very difficult to find out a figure at which level the economy will grow. However, the economy has some symptoms that it will drop growth to five percent in the current fiscal year. The government should impose more efforts to increase it to six or seven percent.
Dr Salehuddin Ahmed is a former BB governor