Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Sunday hoped that Bangladesh would be able to achieve around 6 percent GDP growth rate in the current fiscal year (2013-14) despite all odds and constraints. ”We’ll try to attain around 6 percent GDP growth rate in the current fiscal year facing all the odds and constraints, and the vulnerabilities of the world economy. We’ll move ahead addressing our weaknesses,“ he said. The new Planning Minister was answering to reporters’ queries after the first Ecnec meeting of the new government held at the NEC in city’s Sher -e-Bangla Nagar area. The World Bank has recently said Bangladesh would not be able to achieve the targeted 7.2 percent GDP growth in the 2013-14 fiscal. The Washington -based lending agency has forecast that the growth rate of Bangladesh would not cross 5.7 percent, essentially due to Bangladesh’s ongoing political turmoil. In a half-yearly report, titled `Global Economic Prospects’ on Wednesday, the World Bank recorded this observation. Briefing the journalists, AHM Mustafa Kamal said the country’s economy faced a setback over the last six months due to political turmoil and violence unleashed by BNP-Jamaat. ”We’ll try to maintain our expectations regarding the GDP growth as the growth was above 6 percent over the last four years.“ Asked whether there was any discussion at the Ecnec meeting over gearing up the ADP implementation rate, Mustafa Kamal said due to the unrest over the last six months, the officials concerned even the field-level workers faced difficulties in carrying out their activities. In this connection, he said the BNP-Jamaat might have started realising that politics is for the sake of common people. ”But, killing people could never be part of politics.“ The Planning Minister said there could be differences of opinion, but the ultimate goal should be attaining desired economic growth, moving the country ahead and ensuring good governance. ”I think all, including the government, BNP and others, would realise this.“ Replying to another question on corruption, he said the Prime Minister has already cleared her position over corruption voicing strongly to form a transparent, responsive and corruption-free government in the last Cabinet meeting. Mustafa Kamal said he would sit with the planners, economists, businessmen, members of the civil society and cultural personalities in phases to chalk out his next course of action as the Ministry of Planning is destined to ensure the welfare of the country’s people. About the allegation of excess wealth acquired by ministers and MPs, he said the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) has been working to this end. Quoting media reports, the minister said the ACC would send letters to 50 ministers and MPs seeking their wealth statements. Mustafa Kamal also said it takes maximum one hour to verify one wealth statement and there is no scope for creation of any wealth without paying taxes. Replying to another question, the Planning Minister said there is no indication from any development partner yet that they would not work with the present government following the holding of the 10th parliamentary elections amid boycott by one of the major political parties, BNP. Mustafa Kamal also said he had some certain goals, plans and guidelines as he wants to leave behind some signs of successes here at the Planning Ministry like he had tried at the Bangladesh Cricket Board.
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