Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi MP said the economy of Bangladesh is turning around thanks to efficient tackling of Covid-19. He added that trade and commerce are active, general awareness of the government's efforts is increasing, and the situation is improving.
Tipu Munshi made the remarks while speaking as the chief guest at a series of meetings on "Government of Bangladesh's Incentive Package for Combating Covid-19 and Sustainable and Inclusive Economic Recovery", organised by the Finance Department of the Ministry of Finance at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in Dhaka on Thursday.
The Minister said that the administration has been successfully addressing the Covid-19 situation under the leadership and overall supervision of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. To keep the country's trade and commerce afloat, the government has announced 21 incentive packages worth about Tk1.22 lakh crore, including economic recovery. All these steps were pivotal in maintaining Bangladesh's rapid pace of economic growth.
Damage has been significantly mitigated due to timely decision making and efficient management by the government, he remarked.
He said the government has been able to normalize production, supply, and prices of the country's essential commodities during this unprecedented time. When required, the products were sold in the open market at affordable prices through the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh. Therefore, there was no supply crisis or price increase of any product in the country, he added.
Tipu Munshi also added that after Covid-19 was detected in China, the first case in Bangladesh was identified on 8 March, which was followed by declaration of 66 days of public holiday in the country.
"The government has taken multiple steps when required. Many measures were taken to overcome the detrimental effects of Covid-19 on the economy, thanks to which it has been possible to keep the wheels of the economy running," he said.
The theme of Thursday's meeting was "Sustaining Employment and Restoring the Overall Demand and Supply of the Economy". Senior Secretary of the Finance Department, Abdur Rauf Talukder, presented the keynote address on the topic. Chief Cecretary to the Prime Minister, Ahmed Kaikaus, spoke as a special guest on the occasion.
Participating in the panel discussion were Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh, Ito Naoki; World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan, Mercy Myang Tembon; BGMEA President, Dr Rubana Haque; Executive Director, South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (SANEM), Selim Raihan; Senior Research Fellow, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), Nazneen Ahmed.