Next budget Tk 7.46t, GDP growth target set at 7.5pc
Resource mobilisation from both internal and external sources remains a key challenge for the government to finance a big new budget outlined Tuesday apace with Bangladesh’s aspired economic growth, economists and finance officials say.Keeping such challenges in mind and next general election in sights, the government sketched out the national budget for fiscal year 2023-24 with a total outlay of Tk 7.46 trillion and gross domestic product (GDP) growth target set at 7.5 per cent, officials said.The committee for coordination on fiscal, monetary, and currency-exchange affairs, headed by Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, also set a target to hold inflation in check at around 6.0 per cent in a descent from the recent zenith fuelled by global and local price rises.On the other side of the macroeconomic scales, a less-than-expected level of resources mobilisation might widen the overall budget deficit to 6.0 per cent in terms of the country’s GDP, officials emerging from the meeting told the FE.Also, the planners guesstimated that the subsidy requirement for the next fiscal year might cross Tk 1.0 trillion in a sharp rise from present year’s Tk 820 billion.About the development-expenditure portion of the total budget the meeting issued a direction for the officials concerned to prepare a Tk 3.0-trillion annual development programme (ADP) — substantially higher too from present fiscal’s Tk 2.46 trillion.
Dhaka, Ctg home to most agent banking activities
Although agent banking is spreading at a faster clip in Bangladesh, accelerating financial inclusion, a majority of activities are concentrated in Dhaka and Chattogram divisions, central bank data showed.As of October, the total number of agents was 14,833. Of them, 2,267 were in urban areas and 12,566 in rural areas, according to the monthly report of the Bangladesh Bank.There are 2,820 outlets in urban centres versus 17,544 in rural areas, meaning rural areas are quite covered by banking facilities through agent banking, said the BB.The Dhaka division has a maximum of 3,738 agents, accounting for 25 per cent of the total, while the Chattogram division came second with 22 per cent of the agents.
RMG export to EU witnesses 16.27pc growth during July-Nov
The export of RMG items to the European Union (EU) has witnessed 16.27 per cent growth during the July-November period of this year compared to the same period last year. As per the statistics of the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), RMG export to the EU increased by 16.27 per cent, from US$ 7.81 billion to $9.07 billion in July-Nov 2022-23. Germany is the largest European market fetching $ 2.71 billion with 1.88 per cent growth compared to the same period of the previous year, reports BSS. Export to Spain and France also increased by 19.15 per cent and 38.87 per cent respectively. Export to other major EU countries such as Italy, Austria, Netherlands and Sweden have shown growth by 50.95 per cent, 48.87 per cent, 34.39 per cent and 22.90 per cent respectively. On the other hand, export to Poland has shown 19.61 per cent year-over-year negative growth during the mentioned period.