Minister Kamal said the CPD borrows information from the government and then adds its own estimates to those
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said the statement of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) on the provisional estimate of the country's GDP growth in the 2019-2020 fiscal year is based on guesswork.
The CPD speaks hypothetically, remarked the minister, saying that the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics' (BBS) estimate of a 5.24 percent growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) for the last fiscal is an accurate one.
The minister said this while talking to the media after emerging from a virtual meeting on revenue on Monday.
He said, "The BBS gives us information on the basis of data. On the other hand, the CPD borrows information from us and then adds its own estimates to those. They themselves do not get any information."
That the country's economy is moving along is evident from the scenario of the villages, canals, and industrial factories, noted Minister Mustafa Kamal, adding that the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the economic activities to some extent, but those have not come to a grinding halt.
"There might have been some scope for raising questions, had we claimed that the initially projected 8.2 percent growth rate for the last financial year was final.
"However, there is no room for raising questions about the 5.25 percent growth," he added.
On Sunday, the CPD claimed that the provisional data used by the BBS to estimate a 5.24 percent GDP growth in the 2019-20 fiscal year does not reflect the latest economic reality amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The civil society organisation said the economy had been experiencing a slump even before the outbreak of Covid-19, while it registered a negative growth in the last three months of the FY2019-20 due to the pandemic.
Against such a backdrop, it seems impossible that the overall growth rate would cross 2.5 percent in the last year, according to the CPD.
Earlier in June this year, the World Bank (WB) in its June 2020 Global Economic Prospects projected Bangladesh's GDP growth to come down to 1.6 percent in the FY20.
Prior to this, in April, the WB had projected that Bangladesh's GDP growth in FY20 may slump to 2 to 3 percent due to the dire situation from Covid-19.