“The BBS data do not reflect reality. We hope to see actual data in its final figure. BBS has the institutional capacity to provide accurate data but it can’t do so for various reasons"
The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD)'s Distinguished Fellow Professor Mustafizur Rahman on Sunday underscored the need for the formation of an "Independent Commission" to provide accurate data for the sake of proper policies of the country.
He made the observation at a virtual media briefing on 'provisional estimates of GDP growth in 2019-20: CPD's Reaction'. CPD's Senior Research Fellow Towfiqul Islam Khan presented a keynote paper while its Executive Director Dr Fahmida Khatun moderated the function.
Mustafizur said Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) recently unveiled its provisional data recording 5.24 percent GDP growth in the FY20 which is not focused on the country's real economic scenery.
"The BBS data do not reflect reality. We hope to see actual data in its final figure. BBS has the institutional capacity to provide accurate data but it can't do so for various reasons. So, an independent commission is needed to provide proper data and opinion to inform the country's overall economic situation," he said.
He said accurate data is much needed to overcome the impact of coronavirus pandemic. "We're getting a wrong signal observing overall economic indexes like employment, inflation, income disparity and GDP growth. Providing wrong information influenced by political perspective will distract policy makers from formulating proper policies," he added.
CPD's Research Director Dr Khondoker Golam Moazzem said the poverty rate may rise to 35 percent in the country due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
"The government took various initiatives for providing big stimulus packages to resolve the problems of economic sectors. If our private investment and GDP growth are good then why the packages are needed?" he asked.
Dr Moazzem said there is an independent commission in South Africa who are working independently and providing proper data.
"We'll get accurate data on our economy if BBS works properly as it has institutional capacity. Now an independent commission is needed for this," he added.