BB Boss Sees No 'Slowdown' In GDP Growth
Tuesday, 09 June 2009

The central bank chief does not see GDP growth slowing in the coming fiscal year due to "mounting impact of the global recession" as forecast by a number of economic reports in recent days.

"No matter who says what, I don't think GDP growth will see any contraction in the next fiscal," Bangladesh Bank governor Atiur Rahman said at a 'Budget Reporting' seminar organised by the Economic Reporters Forum in the capital.

Rejecting predictions by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and local economists, Rahman said, "GDP growth in the coming fiscal will be around the same as this year's – 5.9 percent, as forecast by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics."

"It will be no less than this," he said.

The governor said remittance was still on the rise and export income was also being maintained, pushing foreign the exchange reserve up to US$6.7 billion dollar, an all-time high.

"It also appears from observing the world situation that the recession is receding and our farming is beginning to see a boost."

He stressed again that the global recession had yet to cast its shadow on the Bangladesh economy—but did not rule out all negative influence of the recession on the economy.

Rahman said considering the global situation, the central bank will open a 'risk management unit' and directives will be given to all other bank to open similar units.

Automatic Payment System this month

The central banker said the Automatic Payment System will be introduced in the current month to ease hassles in inter-bank exchange of money cheques.

"The system is going to be introduced within a few days experimentally and then formally launched within the current fiscal."

"For this the central bank is using technology even more modern than that used right now in developed countries," he said.

The system will allow cheques of one bank to be deposited at another bank and for withdrawal money without long waits.

Credit Information Bureau

The Credit Information Bureau of the Bangladesh Bank will be made online so that entrepreneurs can get speedier loans, Rahman said.

They face delays at present in getting loans as the CIB does not have updated information.

When an entrepreneur applies for a bank loan, the bank seeks information on them, such as loan default.

"This process takes 15 to 20 days," said Rahman.

The CIB will go online to ensure that information is more readily avaialable.


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