Staff Correspondent: The National Economic Council (NEC) yesterday approved the 8th Five Year Plan (July, 2020-June, 2025), setting a target to attain 8.51 percent GDP growth in the fiscal 2024-25 along with aiming to achieve various economic and social targets as envisioned under the country’s 2nd Perspective Plan (2021-2041).
NEC Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presided over the meeting virtually from her official Ganobhaban residence while ministers, state ministers and others concerned joined the meeting at the NEC Conference Room and also from the Bangladesh Secretariat.
Like before, General Economics Division (GED) under the Planning Commission framed the 8th Five Year Plan which is also the first out of the four five-year plans to be materialized under the 2nd Perspective Plan (2021-2041).
After the approval, Planning Minister MA Mannan briefed the journalists about the plan while Senior Secretary and GED Member Dr Shamsul Alam presented the targets of the 8th Five Year Plan.
In his speech, MA Mannan said the 8th Five Year Plan is the first of the four five-year plans which is being adopted for the implementation during the period of the second perspective plan (2021-2041).
“Moreover, the plan will play an important role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the targets of the Delta Plan-2100. Through the implementation of the 8th Five Year Plan, the country will go one step further in building a hunger-poverty free and prosperous Bangladesh,” he added.
The minister said the government has given special consideration on implementation of the 8th Five Year Plan based on the experience of the 7th Five Year Plan. The adverse effects caused by COVID-19 on the economy have also taken into consideration, he added.
Around Taka 64,959.8 billion will be required to implement this plan, he said, adding that out of that amount, Taka 12301.2 billion (18.9%) will be mobilized from the public sector while Taka 52,658.6 billion (81.1%) from the private sector.
Out of the overall estimated amount required for implementing the Plan, MA Mannan said the government is eying to mobilize Taka 57,483.9 billion (88.5%) from the domestic sources while Taka 7,475.9 billion (11.5%) from the foreign sources.
He said targets have been set under the 8th Five Year Plan to attain GDP growth at 8 percent on an average per year which is expected to reach 8.51 percent in 2025, which is also the last year of the plan.
Besides, the government is also eying to generate around 11.33 million employments during this plan period of which the number of overseas employments would be 3.25 million, he added.
Apart from this, he said, around 7.81 million fresh workforces will be added to the labour market during this plan period.
The minister said necessary strategy has been finalized under the plan to lower the poverty rate at 15.6 percent by 2025.
Besides, he said, the plan also aims to raise the tax-GDP ratio to 12.30 percent from the existing level of 8.90 percent side by side recommendations are made to make further amendments to the tax law and modernize and strengthen the revenue board to boost the revenue collection as well as to reduce dependency on duty.
MA Mannan also informed that the government has also set a target to increase the life expectancy to 74 years in 2025 from the existing 72.6 years.
As per the plan, he said, 100 percent population will come under electricity coverage by 2021 and 30,000 MW electricity will be generated at the end of the plan.
Dr Shamsul Alam said the plan aims to increase investment to 36.99 percent of GDP in fiscal year 2024-25 which was 31.57 percent of GDP in 2019-20 fiscal.
Besides, he said, the government wants to increase private investment from 23.63 percent of GDP to 27.35 percent.
He said the private sector would have to play a leading role in growth and employment.
“With that in mind, the new plan emphasises ease of doing business to grow private sector investment,” he added.
He said this five-year plan would also help the government in attaining the targets under the SDGs and the Delta Plan 2100.
The Plan highlighted ensuring quality education, universal health services measures, creating employments for the returned workers and temporary unemployed people due to COVID-19, ensuring equality for both male and female towards entering the labour market, reducing income inequality, ensuring an integrated social safety net programme, facing climate change induced risks, ensuring sustainable urbanization and ‘Amar Gram Amar Shohor’ initiative.
A panel of economists, headed by the country’s eminent economist Dr Wahiduddin Mahmood, alongside other renowned economists, experts and business leaders, gave necessary directives to frame the “concept note” of the Plan in light of the political and economic philosophy of the government.
Later, the National Steering Committee, headed by the Planning Minister reviewed this concept paper and after completion of some 25 background studies based on various sectors and sub-sectors and following consultations with the various stakeholders, this draft plan has been formulated.
The National Steering Committee in its last meeting on December 13 this year recommended for implementing the 8th Five Year Plan. Besides, the draft Plan was also placed before the Premier on December 23 for her appraisal.
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