BEI seminar for restoration of business confidence
Friday, 01 February 2008

Staff Correspondent

Economists and business leaders at a discussion on Wednesday said the government should check the soaring inflation rate and restore business confidence to ensure economic prospect.

The Bangladesh Enterprise Institute organised the discussion on ‘Bangladesh Economy: current issues and prospects in the near future’ in the city.

Professor Mustafizur Rahman, executive director of the Centre for Policy Dialogue, Yussuf Abdullah Harun, former FBCCI president, and Mamun Rashid, Citibank NA country head, among others, spoke in the discussion moderated by the BEI president, Farooq Sobhan.

Professor Mustafizur Rahman suggested the government to extend all-out support to the farmers for raising food production. He feared if supply situation was not improved, crisis in local food market would persist and high inflation would be hurting the economic growth. Economist Atiur Rahman said vulnerable buffer stock of food items made psychological impacts on market prices in the recent times, prompting the government to take measures to keep stock position reliable.

Atiur observed, ‘It seems the administration is now in sleep. They are not getting response from the grassroots level as the political government used to get.’

He suggested the government should announce the election schedule to get rid of the current stagnant situation in economy. ‘It is the political government that can succeed in alluring investment.’

‘A return to previous levels of economic growth may not be witnessed unless significant progress is made on these (socio-political and legal) fronts,’ he, however warned.

He said despite all odds, dependable foreign currency reserves and boosting business in the capital market were among the healthy signs of economy.

He hoped that by fighting high inflation and resolving the current socio-political and legal issues, Bangladesh would be in a better position.

Mamun Rashid blamed bureaucracy for the current food situation, stressing change in the mindset of the bureaucrats.

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