Bangladesh approves its 8th Five-Year Plan

The National Economic Council (NEC) on Tuesday approved the 8th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) with targets to attain 8.51 percent GDP growth and reduce the poverty rate to 15.6 percent at the end of this period.

The approval came from the NEC meeting held with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. The Prime Minister joined the meeting virtually from Ganobhaban, while ministers and others concerned joined it from the NEC Conference Room and the Bangladesh Secretariat.

In the five-year plan, a target was set to attain yearly 8 percent GDP growth on average in the next five years.

The Planning Commission has framed the 8th Five-Year Plan aligning with different social and economic targets envisaged in the country’s second perspective plan 2021-2041.

Planning Minister MA Mannan briefed reporters after the meeting and Member (GED) of the Planning Commission Dr Shamsul Alam presented the targets of the new Five-Year Plan.

“The Perspective Plan 2021-2041, The Delta Plan 2100 and the SDGs were considered the 8th five-year plan,” said the Planning Minister adding that it is the first five-year in the Perspective Plan 2021-2041.

He said the five-year plan also focused on how to cope with Covid-related problems.

Some Tk 64,959.8 billion is required to implement the 8th Five-Year Plan. Out of the amount, Tk 12,301.2 billion (18.9pc) will be mobilized from the public sector, while Tk 52,658.6 billion (81.1pc) from the private sector,” said the Planning Minister.

He said the government is eying to mobilize Tk 57,483.9 billion (88.5pc) from the domestic sources while Tk 7,475.9 billion (11.5pc) from the foreign sources.

The government set targets to bring down the poverty rate to 15.6 percent and the extreme poverty rate to 7.4 percent during the 8th Five-Year Plan.

The government eyes to create 11.33 million employments, including 3.25 million overseas jobs, during the implementation of the plan. But some 7.81 million new workforces will join the labour market in the time.

In the meeting, the Prime Minister directed the authorities concerned to pay more attention to create an environment for employment generation in the country rather to export manpower to the overseas market saying that more economic zones will be set in the country, the Planning Minister noted.

The government has also set a target to increase the life expectancy to 74 years from the existing 72.6 years within the plan period.

“I believe that the 8th Five-Year Plan will be very much effective to attain the desired development of the country,” Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said while addressing the NEC meeting virtually from her official residence Ganobhaban.

She mentioned that the government is implementing the UN-formulated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “But coronavirus has created a problem, this is not for us alone, it’s for the whole world.”

Sheikh Hasina said the government has been able to reduce the poverty rate significantly, while the GDP has been great enabling Bangladesh to fulfil the all criteria to emerge as a developing one. “But coronavirus stalled everything.”

The Prime Minister said when the entire world got stalled completely, Bangladesh had been able to carry on its economic advancement — at least on a limited scale. “Maybe we couldn’t achieve the fixed goals.”

Hasina said the GDP target for Bangladesh was 8.2% for the last fiscal but there was a pandemic across the world and the global economy had come to a standstill. “As in the global village, Bangladesh also faced some problems.”

“To execute these visions and plans what we need is the Five-Year plans. We’ve implemented the 6th and 7th Five-Year plans, we’re taking the 8th Five-Year Plan today, we’ll take ahead the development phase by phase for the Vision 2041,” she said.

Source: United News of Bangladesh