Tuesday, July 16, 2019 | ePaper

Five key challenges lie on new finance minister

  • Print
Special Correspondent :
AHM Mustafa Kamal, the new finance minister, is about to face a number of challenges to keep growth momentum of the national economy intact, analysts say.
"Five key challenges lies on him and he must accomplish to those being a top policy maker of the government finances," economist Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya told The New Nation yesterday.
The challenges are sustaining a high GDP growth, boosting revenue earnings, restoring discipline in the banking sector, reviving the private investment cycle and timely implementation of mega projects.
Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya said the new finance minister is about to face an uphill task in sustaining the 'fairytale' of the country's high GDP growth given the current investment scenario and banking sector crisis.
"He would face a daunting task in reviving private investment cycle and restore discipline in the banking sector unless drastic reform measures put in place," he added.
Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, a Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), further said the national economy continue to attain over 7.0 per cent growth in the last couple of years, but the distribution of growth remains uneven in the lower tier of the population due to lack of necessary jobs for youth population.
"Slow job growth has become a big problem for the economy. The new finance minister must take necessary steps to improve the bleak job prospect. Otherwise, the growth will not be sustainable in the long run," he noted.         
Bangladesh has achieved a record 7.86 per cent GDP growth in the 2017-18 fiscal year.  "There are a lot of challenges that the new finance minister has to face. But he should foremost focus on reviving the private investment and clear the banking owes created due to piling stressed loans in banks," economist Dr Zahid Hussain told The New Nation yesterday.
He said accelerating private investment is necessary to sustain economic growth and job creation. So, the new finance minister must reassure investors of credible plans to boost private investment, which remains low in the last few years despite the country achieved a high GDP growth at that period," said Dr Zahid Hussain.
He said the minister should take bold reform measures to restore discipline in the banking sector, which is marred by the rising non-performing loans. Such steps can help clean up the banks' book of accounts as well as improve their financial health and confidence of the investors," said Dr Zahid Hussain
"He (the finance minister) should particularly fix the pile up bad loans at the state-owned banks and capital shortfall of the state lenders. He should uphold the autonomy and independence of the central bank, which is key to restore discipline in the country's banking sector.
Dr Zahid Hussain further said that the minister should be careful about unnecessary public spending and ensure timely disbursement of government funds for timely implementation of development projects. Necessary steps should be taken to boost revenue earnings to finance the ongoing development projects.
"He must therefore help with tough decisions about unaffordable vanity projects," said Dr Zahid Hussain.
At the same time, he will have to work closely with Industries Minister on the restructuring of state-owned enterprises. The precarious financial position of a number of state-owned enterprises is placing a heavy burden on taxpayers. Removing this burden will release resources that can be used to stimulate the domestic economy.
When asked, Dr Zahid Hussain said the new finance minister has a strong financial background and already served as a planning minister successfully.
"Both experiences should help equip him to meet the challenges," he added.

More News For this Category

Murder inside courtroom

Murder inside courtroom

Staff Reporter :A murder case accused was stabbed to death by another accused in the same case at the Judge's room of a Cumilla court on Monday morning.The deceased was

9 including newlywed couple killed

9 including newlywed couple killed

Staff Reporter  :At least nine persons, including a newlywed couple and a child, have been killed when a train rammed a microbus in Ullahpara upazila of  Sirajganj district on Monday

Several lakhs marooned

Staff Reporter :The overall flood situation in 16 north, northwestern and central districts of the country has further worsened due to continuous rise in water level of the four major

Govt asked to probe into ADM's role

Staff Reporter :The High Court (HC) on Monday directed the government to conduct an enquiry against Feni Additional District Magistrate P K M Enamul Karim, also the President of the

Mobile phones of Ideal College students allegedly burnt

Staff Reporter :Authorities of Dhanmondi Ideal College smashed around 500 mobile phone sets of their students and later burnt them for allegedly violating rules.A section of students raised the allegation

DSE index hits 30-month low

Staff Reporter :Small stock investors staged demonstration in front of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) on Monday protesting continuous fall of share price indices.    After the trade session at 2:30pm,

Trump under fire for 'racist' attack on US congresswomen

US president Donald Trump took aim at progressive Democratic congresswomen Sunday, telling them to "go back" where they came from in remarks that sparked yet another firestorm over his views

DIG Mizan quizzed at jail gate

Staff Reporter  :The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Monday interrogated suspended Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police Mizanur Rahman at the gate of Keraniganj Central Jail in Dhaka on Monday. The

Tk 36 crore looted, reports probe body

Staff Reporter :Probe body formed by the Housing and Public Works Ministry found proof of looting more than Tk 36 crores in purchasing the furniture and other household items for

England become WC champs for  first time

England become WC champs for first time

UNB, Dhaka :After dramatic twists and turns, England beat New Zealand in the final at the cricket's spiritual home- Lord's - on Sunday to win their maiden ICC World