Inflation control must top govt agenda: ICCB
Sunday, 25 May 2008

Bdnews24.com

Taking effective and long-term measures to contain inflation should top the government agenda, president of International Chamber of Commerce-Bangladesh Mahbubur Rahman said Saturday.

Presenting a report of the executive board at the 13th ICC Bangladesh Annual Council 2007, at the MCCI Conference Hall, Rahman said a democratic government was a pre-requisite for any sustained development of a nation.

The point-to-point inflation rate rose to 10.16 percent in February of 2008 from 7.28 percent in the same period a year ago.

The ICCB chief stressed a downward adjustment of earlier projections on growth in line with recent domestic and global developments including natural calamities, temporary disruptions in domestic production, and adverse price developments in international markets.

The ICCB report predicted some setbacks to the economy because of a considerable degree of volatility in the world economy.

Moreover, constraints in domestic revenue mobilisation with continuing dependence on international trade remain a major problem, it added.

The report said Bangladesh must draw up a 'master plan' that includes sufficient investment in agricultural research, provision of appropriate incentives to farmers to go for cereal production as well as ensuring proper management and modernisation of the sector.

Rahman underlined the need for concrete measures to cut red tape in improving the country's image as a business and investor friendly environment.

"In order to attract further investment, which we need desperately for growth and development, we should also be able to offer … incentives so that investors can make their long-term plan," the ICC president said.

He said the changeover of 1/11 had brought an immediate sense of relief to everyone, including big and small traders and owners of industrial units and financial institutions, who took the main brunt of the violence on the streets.

But despite positive gains and improvement in different areas of national importance, especially governance, the changeover has also taken some tolls on the business and economy of Bangladesh, Rahman added.

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