I do not see how the GDP growth of a country could go down to three percent from more than eight percent a year ago.
The projection of the World Bank is unusual and unrealistic. It is expected that the impact of Covid-19 could reduce our GDP growth by about two percentage points from the projection.
It is not a fact of expectation, but an issue of calculation. The World Bank has a method to calculate the loss to an economy due to adverse impacts of the novel coronavirus.
As the World Bank is a globally-recognised institution, their calculation is acceptable worldwide, but we have a different idea.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB), another recognised institution, forecast 7.8 percent growth – a reduction of 1-1.5 percent of projected GDP.
We do not know how long the impact of Covid-19 will be felt. Economic activities will restart once the spread of the novel coronavirus has declined for two weeks. It will take one month to accelerate all sectors of the economy to full capacity.
I think the projection of the World Bank is terribly unexpected and unusual. I hope the projection of the World Bank is wrong.
It is usual for Bangladesh to lose 1.5 percent – to a maximum 2.5 percent – of the GDP because of the impact of Covid-19.
It is not the proper time to determine the total impact of Covid-19 on the economy as we do not know how long the impacts will be felt.
I hope think tanks of our country – like CPD, PRI and BIDS – will assess the losses due to Covid-19 and the government will take proper initiatives to assess the reports.
The government has announced several initiatives to hedge the adverse impacts of Covid-19 and is prepared to take more measures.
I think small businesses, industries, some public transportation, and small shops will be open within the next few days. And the economy will turn around as a result of its own strength.
The writer is the incumbent Minister of Planning of Bangladesh