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World Bank prediction on Bangladesh economy inconsistent: Finance Minister

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has said that the World Bank is not consistent in its prediction about the economy of Bangladesh.

“Sometimes they make a prediction and then frequently shifts position,” he told reporters after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase on Wednesday.

His remarks came against the backdrop of the multilateral donor agency’s forecast that Bangladesh’s GDP growth will be 1.6 percent in the fiscal 2020-21 while the government set it at 7.4 percent in the national budget.

The minister trashed the WB forecast.

About the economic performance, Mustafa Kamal said Bangladesh has been doing better compared to other countries.

“All the sectors are performing well, except imports. Imports have decreased resulting in a downturn in revenue collections,” he said.

He said the government will review the situation and take some measures to improve revenue collection.

Black money whitening

The Finance Minister defended the recent report that about Tk 10,000 crore was whitened by some people in the country during the pandemic.

“This is good that it’ll create pace and vibration in the economy. Our goal has been successful,” he said.

He said the government has announced a provision in the budget to facilitate whitening of the block money.

“This money was gone black due to our own policy,” he said, noting that people were not interested to register after purchasing flats and lands due to high registration fees and high stamp duty.

After lowering the stamp duty and registration fee by the government, people are now registering real-estate properties.

Responding to a question, the Finance Minister said the huge gap in numbers of income tax returnees and the tax payers would not be removed until an automation is done in this regard.

It was reported that the total number of income tax returnees is 5 million while tax payers are 2.5 million in Bangladesh.

Source: United News of Bangladesh