Bangladesh govt projects 6.5% GDP growth in next fiscal

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Dhaka, June 9 (UNI) Bangladesh military-backed caretaker government today projected the country's GDP growth at 6.5 per cent during the next financial year beginning July this year.

Presenting national budget for fiscal 2008-09, Finance Advisor Mirza Azizul Islam said the GDP growth in the outgoing fiscal is estimated to be 6.2 per cent slightly lower than previous year's growth.

He, however, said the deceleration in growth is still satisfactory compared to many countries in Asia.

The Finance Advisor admitted that inflation reached a high of 11.6 per cent in December last year in the wake of soaring price of food grains in the international market but he noted downward trend recently.

Presenting Tk 99,962 crore national budget combining non-development and development budgets, Aziz said the new budget focused on macro-economic stability, accelerated growth and poverty reduction.

Besides, he said priorities have been given to maintaining price level of essentials, employment generation, widening social safety-net program, increasing agriculture production, ensuring food security and increasing power generation.

The Advisor said proposed widening safety-net program for the poor and lower middle class people in the wake of incidence of impact of global food shortage.

He proposed Tk 16,932 crore for increasing the beneficiaries under the social safety-net programme in the next fiscal, which is 48 per cent higher than the revised allocation of Tk 11,467 crore.

He allocated Tk 2,000 crore for a new program called 100 Days Employment Generation to ensure employment of 20 lakh rural unemployed poor across the country .

The Finance Advisor also proposed to constitute a new Pay Commission to recommend the pay structure for employees of government and autonomous bodies and announced 20 percent dearness allowance for them as an interim measure from July this year.

UNI XC SBA PM1710

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