By Sumi Khan
Dhaka, June 2 (IANS) Amid the economic pressure faced by Bangladesh in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Muhammad Abdul Mannan, the countrys Planning Minister, told exclusively to IANS on Tuesday, “Economically, we are under a lot of pressure. Resources are relatively low. I feel much more pressure. Our exports are under a big threat. Those who work hand-to-mouth are in big crisis. We are far behind because of Covid-19.
“The goal is to think about the resumption of the economy. We are eagerly waiting for the coronavirus pandemic to end. If not, it will become a nightmare. This year we are going for a larger budget for agriculture. If the western countries take the same products as before, our economic situation will be a bit better.”
“However, the economic losses around the world must be overcome together. Bangladesh can’t be active alone. It will not be able to overcome the economic catastrophe alone. The lockdown will have far-reaching economic consequences,” Mannan concluded.
Meanwhile, talking about the resumption of the country’s economy amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, “But life won’t stand still… We’ve to move on taking coronavirus with us as long as a vaccine is being developed.”
She added, “The government has already announced a 101,117 crore Bangladeshi taka (BDT) stimulus package, which is 3.6 per cent of the GDP.”
She said that 18 economic sectors, including export-oriented industries, small, medium and cottage industries, agriculture, pisciculture and poultry, have been brought under this package.
To help the jobless youth and expatriates, who have returned from various countries, the government has also allocated 2,000 crore BDT.
Hasina said that economic activities have to be resumed for the sake of the lives and livelihoods of the people of the country. “Most countries of the world have already been compelled to relax their lockdowns, because it’s not possible to restrict people’s paths of income for an indefinite period. It’s not possible at all for a developing country like Bangladesh,” she said.