Economy showing signs of a turnaround.
Although uncertainty prevails over the country’s economy with regard to both global and domestic contexts, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal yesterday portrayed a rosy picture of it in parliament. Presenting a report on the implementation progress of the national budget for 2021-22 in the fiscal year’s first quarter from July to September, Kamal said despite the pandemic’s effects, the country’s macroeconomy has started to turn around.
He hoped that the 7.2 per cent growth target for gross domestic product (GDP) would be achieved this fiscal year. Hoping to keep the inflation rate within 5.3 per cent, the minister said the monetary policy has been formulated keeping these targets in mind. The finance minister hoped that the country’s per capita income would increase to $2,785 in the current fiscal year of 2021-22. In 2020-21, per capita income stood at $2,227. Due to the sincerity and efforts of the pro-poor government, both the poverty and extreme poverty rates have come down to 20.5 per cent and 10.5 per cent respectively in 2020, said Kamal. He informed that remittance inflow in the country was at $5.41 billion in the first quarter of the fiscal year, which was 19.44 per cent less than that in the same period of the previous fiscal year.
Mentioning that labour export had resumed, including to the main market of Saudi Arabia, he hoped that remittance inflow at the end of the current fiscal year would reach levels similar to that of the previous year. As a whole, all the indicators of the macroeconomy including growth in GDP, per capita income as well as export are in the positive mode in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, said the minister.
BGMEA president calls for factory-based skill dev training.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Faruque Hassan has urged all BGMEA members to arrange in-house training for both workers and supervisors in order to strengthen the future of the ever-growing RMG industry. “I believe a dedicated initiative by each of our factories to train workers will actually complement the whole industry,” he wrote in a letter sent to the BGMEA members recently.
“Many new technologies are coming which can make the production process faster, leaner and simpler. Technology evolution and the urge to be more efficient and adaptive to 4IR require more effort in skills development. Therefore, we need to re-skill and up-skill our human resources to prepare for the next big challenges, he added. In collaboration with the government, other stakeholders and the development partners of BGMEA, the organization reportedly is engaged in a number of skill development programs for existing and new workers, including the establishment of the “Centre for Innovation, Efficiency and OSH”. These efforts are expected to facilitate automation, 3D designing, innovation, using the best industrial engineering process and practices, and inspire modular processes.
The president also noted that the number of LEED-certified RMG factories has increased to 157 now, of which 47 are platinum and 96 are gold rated. “We all know how difficult this has been to cope up with the impact, starting from cancellation of orders, discounts, deferred payment, non-payment, buyer’s bankruptcy, forced loan and so on. Yet the morale was kept high, and the industry proved its resilience through all the sacrifices our entrepreneurs have made.”
DSE launches project to go paperless
The Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) has initiated a project as part of its efforts to go paperless in order to reduce hassles and cut the expenses for the bourse and its stakeholders. The project will cost Tk 47 lakh, and the premier exchange of Bangladesh will receive service from Indian business solution provider Addteq under the initiative. “The DSE is digitised but not digitalised, so we are now working to do that. Making the bourse paperless is aligned with it,” said Tarique Amin Bhuiyan, managing director of the DSE, at the launching event at the exchange in the capital. “We are going to be paperless eventually. Now, it has started and I hope the full paperless activities will be seen within the current year.” Thanks to the paperless initiative, anyone will be able to work from remote locations, and the works for the DSE and its stakeholders will be easy, hassle-free and time-saving, Bhuiyan added. DSE Chairman Md Eunusur Rahman said he heard that the DSE was 100 per cent automated, but in reality, it was not.