Inflation to come down within target by end of FY: Waseqa


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Inflation to come down within target by end of FY: Waseqa

Bangladesh battles inflation, can they hit their target despite global challenges?

BMirror Desk:

Bangladesh is facing a significant economic challenge – taming inflation. State Minister for Finance, Waseqa Ayesha Khan, expressed cautious optimism recently, stating the government aims to bring inflation down to its target of 7.5% by the end of the current fiscal year. However, achieving this goal requires navigating a complex economic landscape riddled with both internal and external factors.

Khan, while outlining the government’s progress report on the 2023-24 budget implementation, highlighted a multi-pronged approach to tackle inflation.  One key strategy involves stricter control over government spending. Implementing austerity measures within the government can free up resources to address inflation through targeted interventions or social safety nets for vulnerable populations.

Another weapon in the government’s arsenal is tighter monetary policy. The Bangladesh Bank, the country’s central bank, can utilize tools like increasing interest rates. While this can help curb inflation by potentially discouraging borrowing and investment spending, it can also have a dampening effect on economic growth. Striking a balance between managing inflation and fostering economic activity will be crucial.

Furthermore, the government is considering import controls on non-essential goods. This approach aims to reduce the outflow of foreign currency and potentially stabilize the exchange rate. A weaker Bangladeshi taka can lead to imported goods becoming more expensive, further fueling inflation. However, import restrictions can also disrupt supply chains and potentially lead to shortages of certain goods.

These domestic measures, while necessary, are unlikely to be sufficient on their own. The harsh reality is that Bangladesh’s fight against inflation is heavily influenced by external forces beyond its immediate control. 

The ongoing war in Ukraine has triggered a domino effect, disrupting global supply chains and leading to a surge in commodity prices. This translates to higher costs for essential goods like food and fuel, which ultimately impact consumer prices. Bangladesh, a net importer of many commodities, feels the pinch of these global price increases acutely.

Adding to the woes is the strengthening US dollar. As the value of the dollar rises in relation to other currencies, it becomes more expensive for Bangladesh to import essential goods, further pushing up domestic prices.

These global headwinds are forcing the Bangladeshi government to adjust its economic growth target for the current fiscal year downwards, revising it from 7.5% to 6.5%.  This downward revision reflects the headwinds the country faces and acknowledges the potential impact of inflation on economic activity.

Despite the challenges, Khan remained optimistic about Bangladesh’s ability to weather the storm. The nation’s past economic resilience, coupled with the government’s proactive measures, offers a glimmer of hope.  However, achieving the 7.5% inflation target within the remaining fiscal year will require continued vigilance and potentially even more comprehensive intervention strategies.

The success of the government’s plan will hinge on several critical factors.  Firstly, managing the delicate balance between controlling inflation and maintaining economic growth will be crucial.  Furthermore, ensuring effective implementation of the planned measures is key.  Policymakers need to be prepared to adjust their approach based on real-time data and evolving economic conditions.

The cooperation of the general public is also essential.  Consumers may need to adjust their spending habits to prioritize essential goods and potentially adopt more cost-conscious practices.  Open communication and building trust with the public regarding the government’s strategies and the challenges faced will be vital in navigating this complex economic climate.

Bangladesh’s fight against inflation will be closely watched by economists and global markets.  The outcome will not only be crucial for the nation’s own economic stability but could also offer valuable insights for other developing economies facing similar challenges in a turbulent global economic environment.




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