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  #1  
Old June 1, 2007, 11:48 PM
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Default Bangladesh 2020: An Analysis of Growth

In the recent news of Indian economy entering the prestigious Trillion Dollar Economy, I thought its a good idea to find out the prospect of our economy in the coming days and how it may shape up.

Specially with the recent changes made in our political scenario, a lot of us are starting to dream for a positive change in the total socio-economic demographics of our country.

Standing currently at around 65 Billion, i believe our total GDP will increase significantly over the next 10 years, and will do a better performance than a projected growth of around 6.5 percent.

IF we can manage to reach the impressive double digit growth or alleast around 9% over the next few years, i believe our economy will be much better off than the expected US 200 Billion at the end of 2020.

Managing to eradicate few major factors such as corruption, political instability and privatisation of govt owned industries, changes in the Ctg sea-port,i believe we are capable of achieving such figures.

If anyone interested, the following link is a good read which analysis the expected growth of our economy over the next 10 year or so and gives us a good insight.

Bangladesh Economy: 2020
(source: CPD )

I, personally, believe that we can reach around US 400-500 Billion by the end of year 2020 and even beyond. The figures that are being given to us are just numbers to me and its upto us to better them and we have all the abilities, resources and means to do so.

Following is some useful data ( taken from MCCI webpage) about our economy.
Im sure we all can goggle them, but thought would put in case if someone interested in having a look.


MAJOR ECONOMIC INDICATORSfficeffice" />

Indicators

2002-03
2003-04
2004-05
2005-06
(p)
2006-07
(E)
National Accounts :
GDP (million US$)
51914
56498
60382
62021
68000
GDP Growth (%)
5.3
6.3
6.0
6.7
6.8
Per Capita GDP (US$)
Domestic Demand (in million US$)
389
54390
418
59034
441
63106
447
64937
484
71300
GDP by Sector
Agriculture :
Share in GDP (%)
23.5
23.1
22.3
21.8
21.3
Growth Rate (%)
3.1
4.1
2.2
4.5
4.7
Industry:
Share in GDP (%)
27.2
27.7
28.3
29.0
29.8
Growth Rate (%)
7.3
7.6
8.3
9.6
9.8
Manufacturing:
Share in GDP (%)
16.0
16.2
16.5
17.1
17.6
Growth Rate (%)
6.8
7.1
8.2
10.4
10.5
Construction :
Share in GDP (%)
8.6
8.8
9.1
9.2
9.3
Growth rate (%)
8.1
8.3
8.3
8.4
9.0
Power, gas & water:





Share in GDP (%)
1.5
1.6
1.6
1.7
1.7
Growth Rate (%)
8.1
9.1
8.9
7.7
8.6
Service:
Share in GDP (%)
49.3
49.2
49.4
49.2
48.9
Growth Rate (%)
5.4
5.7
6.4
6.5
6.3
Wholesale and Retail Trade :

Share in GDP (%)
13.9
14.0
14.1
14.2
14.2
Growth Rate (%)
6.1
6.6
7.1
7.3
7.5
Transport, Storage & Communication :

Share in GDP (%)
9.8
9.8
10.0
10.1
10.1
Growth rate (%)
6.8
6.2
7.9
8.2
7.2
Real estate, Renting & Business
activities :
Share in GDP (%)
8.5
8.3
8.1
7.9
7.7
Growth rate (%)
3.5
3.6
3.7
3.7
4.0
Health and Social works :
Share in GDP (%)
2.2
2.2
2.3
2.3
2.3
Growth rate (%)
5.6
6.2
7.4
7.1
6.5
Education :
Share in GDP (%)
2.4
2.4
2.4
2.5
2.5
Growth rate (%)
7.6
7.7
7.9
8.0
6.5
Money and Credit ( billion Tk. ):
Total liquidity (Broad Money - M 2)
1139.95
1297.74
1515.88
1827.00
2065.00
Foreign assets (net)
140.94
163.30
186.67
216.00
230.00
Domestic assets(net)
999.00
1134.43
1329.22
1611.00
1835.00
Domestic credit
1097.17
1255.51
1475.61
1718.0
1952.00
Govt. sector (net)
192.79
219.49
256.33
280.00
310.00
Other public sector
75.44
89.68
111.89
154.00
19200
Private sector
828.94
946.35
1107.39
1284.00
1450.00
Financial deepening M2/GDP (%)
37.9
39.0
40.9
43.9
44.0
Balance of Payments:
Export (million US$)
6548
7603
8655
10100
11400
Import (million US$)
9658
10903
13147
14800
16800
Workers’ Remittances (million US$)
3062
3372
3848
4806
4900
Current Account
Balance (million US$)

176
176
-557
-231
-500
Overall Balance (million US$)
815
171
67
-37
-100
Foreign Exchange Reserves
(million US$)

2470
2705
2930
3484
3655
Public Finance :
Total Revenue ( million US$ )
5375
6007
6385
6687
7615
Tax Revenue (million US$)
4309
4802
5204
5391
6220
Current Expenditure ( million US$ )
4371
4817
5427
5523
6128
Annual Development Programme (million US$)
2919
3224
3339
3204
3768
Overall deficit (million US$)
2173
2370
2679
2413
2492
Savings & Investment As % of GDP:





Total Investment
23.4
24.0
24.5
25.0
25.5
Public Investment
6.2
6.2
6.2
6.3
6.2
Private Investment
17.2
17.8
18.3
18.7
19.3
National Savings
24.9
25.4
25.8
26.6
27.0
Domestic Savings
18.6
19.5
20.1
20.3
20.5
Rate of Inflation (CPI)
4.38
5.83
6.48
7.04
6.0
GDP deflator (%) change
4.53
4.24
5.08
5.20
5.6
Wage index (%) change
10.96
6.31
5.85
6.61
6.0
Average Exchange Rate ( Taka/US$ )
57.90
58.94
61.39
67.1
69.0
P = Provisional, E = Estimated.
Copyright 2005 MCCI © All rights reserved
http://www.mccibd.org/bdecon.html


You can share your thoughts and insight into the subject matter.
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  #2  
Old June 2, 2007, 12:55 AM
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Thanks Sydney bhai. Will have to go through this once I get back home
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  #3  
Old June 2, 2007, 09:49 AM
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Oh...almost 10 hours and only 1 reply!!
Looks like nobody is interested in talking about the subject matter.!!
....may be i should have also opened another ajaira thread.....
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Old June 2, 2007, 10:30 PM
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After a quick look at the figures I see that the home utility sector is completely being stagnant for last five fiscal year. It is good to see that the percentage of Agriculture is shifting towards industry but numbers are not everything, the parameters in Agriculture might start largely depend on industry and thats where the strength of our agro-based economy lies, when there will be enough fertilizer and cultured seeds for the farmers with loads of tractors and watering equipments. There should be separate sector for IT and the bleak part of this numbers is the degrading contribution of Education. But again figures are just simple math and life is more complicated than calculas.
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  #5  
Old June 3, 2007, 03:08 PM
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I am not an economist but just a simple layman.

From what I have read from before BD can become a middle-income country in the next decade or two with constant economic growth.

The future looks bright. Thanks for opening this thread up Sydney.
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  #6  
Old June 3, 2007, 10:14 PM
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Bangaldesh needs to get is act together before getting into the middle income country bracket.
As far as i remember, in the 21 indicators thatUnctad looks at in its LDC report in 15 ofthem Bangadesh is better than LDC average and 5 of them they are not good. However, I think that those five things are indicators of the long runrobustness of the economy. However, this report was based on data from 2004 and led to huge tensions between CPD and BOI.
Getting rid of corruption is a good first step, but i am very dissapointed at the CTG has gone about doing that in the last 5 months. Very few court deisions have come regarding this issue and honestly it is becoming a human rights issue.
I havent looked at the CPD report carfully, however I think they have an optimistic view about the economy.
I feel huge reforms are needed in order to jump start the economy. Strategic government spending has to increase. And i am not strong fan of income tax on wages and interest.
I feel that the main problem for banladesh is not going to b growth but the distributon of this growth.
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Old June 3, 2007, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Special 1
I feel that the main problem for banladesh is not going to b growth but the distributon of this growth.
To add to what Special1 has just said:

...Interesting how we are thinking of all very expansionary policies to increase the growth. BD's govt borrowing is increasing, Investment-borrowing is increasing, consumption is increasing and costs of production is rising. Is Bangladesh Bank really doing its best to counter inflation and control the growth at a sustainable level?

Any increase in the money supply to bring down interest rates and facilitate investment, and we're going to see even more money swilling around pushing up prices, with growing domestic demand as it is for capital and consumer goods. Add to that inflation caused by higher market prices of imports.

With all the growth, inflation is going to go up too and those who will be hit hard by it will the unemployed, and low-income groups of people. Is the government and Central Bank really keeping in view this issue? The political repercussions can be disastrous. Already Hasina uses this issue to criticise all the governments for the spiralling prices and cost of living. (And trust me, even if she comes to power she wont be able to do squat with all that rhetoric to keep prices down). And add to that if our country starts defaulting on their dues... then the economic repercussions will be disastrous. We're currently floating on Remittance and RMG revenue inflows, its really disconcerting that we have not been able to diversify out of these.

Last edited by ammark; June 4, 2007 at 04:50 AM.. Reason: reorganisation of content
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Old June 4, 2007, 11:16 AM
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Great topic...i am learning while i am reading please discuss more...it's interesting.
Thanks.
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  #9  
Old June 4, 2007, 11:35 AM
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I was watching ajker shomoy on NTV yesterday. The speakers brought up a very good point. They said that atleast 1/3 or Bd economy is black and th current drive on corruption is gonna haveahuge negative effect on it. I think they are correct. people support the driv against corrupt leaders, but people are naive. If these people are put away in a way they are being put away now every one is going to be hit. Getting rid of corruption does not equal to growth and in this cas actually could hamper growth. The challange in frnt of CTG now is t figure outa mechanism by which this black money can be made white without cenceding too much. Its a very hard job which should have been takenup ideally by a political government, but alas.
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Old June 4, 2007, 12:05 PM
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Impressive figures and charts. But on a pessimistic note, I see BD and India ( and a lot of other wannabees) following the Brazil model of a painful gap between desperate poor and super rich.
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Old June 4, 2007, 12:07 PM
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The only constant growth I see BD having is population.

This 2020 vision should be incorporated to that growth. First where we want to be in 2020. How to get there? What infra structures can support that? What major issues we will face? Competitors? This evaluation should be done in every sector. Laws need to modified to encorporate the visions and missions. We have Amla with no vision. 9% growth even 15% growth wouldn't see our middle class or lower class improve their living standards. The richer will get rich.
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Old June 4, 2007, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oracle
Impressive figures and charts. But on a pessimistic note, I see BD and India ( and a lot of other wannabees) following the Brazil model of a painful gap between desperate poor and super rich.
Mr. Oracle are you foreseeing that for our fate too ...lol ...not even Neo can save us anymore
I guess that would happen everywhere.... unlike last century in few places/countries where we used to think about reducing the gap, now it's opposite ...capitalism is flourishing like never before and now became the 'model' of this century!!
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Old June 5, 2007, 06:47 AM
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Good to see the thread is finally getting some momentum.

Ammark, great post mate.
You have certainly talked about issues that "might" be the biggest concern in the upcoming days.
But if we can understand that, im sure our economists sitting at the top of BB would also, assuming they are professinal bunch while we are only amateurs discussing this issue.

you also mention about Remittance and RMG cash inflow. True its bad that this two sector is the becoming the pipeline of our economic growth, but im sure you will agree with me that its better than nothing. We had to start somewhere and we did with this two sectors.

Soon there will be other segments of our trade and commerce that will join in hand, eg tourism,service based industry etc etc.

With political stability and a more secured business environment, im sure FDI will increase in a significant number and this will bring more and more investors and venture capitalists to invest their money into our economy which would result in our own greater good.

Please carry on with the discussion.
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Old June 5, 2007, 04:05 PM
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Please dont misunderstand me: What I said is in itself possibly contradictory, since I'm concerned about the inflation that follows growth. I was merely lamenting that our reliance for foreign exchange comes greatly from RMG and Remittance, despite the govt having tried to expand the other industries into becoming somewhat solid export bases. Those industries should grow. Its encouraging to hear of the pharma, leather and IT sector getting some foreign contracts, but they still make up a minor proportion next to RMG and Remittance. Otherwise its great that we have those.... if there's one good thing Ershad started, it was letting our idle businessmen to set up garment factories, we're certainly seeing the pay off now.

About the economists at BB: Yes, they are far smarter. And I suppose they've done their part to limit GDP growth to less than 7% too. Here's an article I remember reading couple months back... and it makes more sense to me now seeing your figures, current political context in BD, and how people generally are anxiously waiting to see double digit growth of the economy. I'm personally happy that BB has actively followed a contractionary policy, to balance the all out investment friendly fiscal and trade policy. In disagreement with the author's last line: I think those in poverty would be hit harder by higher inflation, than by slower growth. Two indicators that would make for more conclusive assessments would be the Wage Index (given) and the Unemployment Rate (missing).

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Daily Star, 18 March 2007
Point-Counterpoint
Monetary contraction and growth
MA Taslim

Quite contrary to what most people would assume to be the case, the central bank of Bangladesh has actually followed a policy of restraining the growth rate of the economy. It is almost two years now that Bangladesh Bank made the decision (or the decision was made for it) to switch to a contractionary monetary policy. The CEOs of all commercial banks were instructed to raise the interest rates only weeks after they had been publicly rebuked by the then Finance Minister for charging too high interest rates on loans. Having made the (according to many, wrong) decision, Bangladesh Bank did the only right thing it could do. It stuck by its new policy. Monetary policy should not be tinkered with every now and then as its effects might take more than a year to eventuate.

The ostensible purpose of the monetary contraction was to reduce (or at least not increase) the supposed inflationary impulse, which was running at 6.2 percent at the time. The Bank felt that the rising inflation was due to excessive demand and hence needed monetary discipline. Although the inflationary tendency at the time was not due primarily to demand pressures, the policy did yield the anticipated result; it contained inflation. The latest inflation figures suggest that it has not risen much more than half a percentage point over the level it had attained in April 2005. On a point-to-point basis the inflation rate has actually declined. It was a reasonably good achievement on the inflation front, but the important question is: what did it cost the economy?

A well-known tool of short term macroeconomic analysis, "Phillips Curve," says that a reduction in inflation can be achieved only at the expense of lower output (growth). Inflation, being a monetary phenomenon, can be always brought down, given sufficient time, by a monetary squeeze. Such a squeeze that manifests itself in rising interest rates increases cost of funds and thereby reduces aggregated expenditure, particularly investment expenditure. This helps to cool off the economy; investment and output (growth) fall. Employment also declines or does not increase as much. This is the principal real cost of monetary contraction. Much of the lost output and employment would have accrued to the poorer section of the community; they are particularly hard hit by a monetary contraction.

Bangladesh Bank is a bit reluctant about admitting that it has instituted a monetary contraction; it favours the term "cautious" to describe its monetary policy. It points out that there has been no contraction in money or credit supply. Monetary data show that there has been indeed no reduction in the growth of private sector credit, and hence Bangladesh Bank is entitled to claim that it has not squeezed credit supply.

However, credit supply is not a true indicator of money market conditions or the monetary stance of the central bank, since it ignores the demand side entirely. The money market would be slack with a credit growth of 19 percent (the actual growth in 2005-06) if the demand growth was only 15 percent, but it would be tight if the demand growth were 25 percent. In the former case, Bangladesh Bank would be executing an expansionary monetary policy resulting in a reduction in the interest rates, whereas in the latter case it would be executing a tight monetary policy with rising interest rates.

Hence, a more reliable indicator of the money market condition is the interest rate. Most central banks these days use the interest rate as the target variable of monetary policy as money or credit has been found to be quite unreliable. When they want to tighten the money market they attempt to raise the interest rate. This is the principal transmission channel of monetary policy.

The intent of Bangladesh Bank's monetary policy is very clearly reflected in a range of interest rates such as the rates on treasury bills and government bonds of various maturities, repo and reverse repo rates and rates on bank advances. These rates have all risen steadily since March 2005. The 28-day Treasury bill rate has risen by 2.62 per cent while the reverse repo rate (1-2 days) has risen by 2 per cent between March 2005 and December 2006. The rate on bank advances has risen by 1.67 per cent between March 2005 and September 2006. These are very substantial increases in the interest rates and doubtless indicate a steady tightening of the money market. This policy-induced monetary contraction has no doubt helped in keeping a lead on the inflation rate, but it has also dampened business enthusiasm to invest.

Monetary brakes were activated when the economy was palpably on the threshold of a 7 percent plus economic growth. Business confidence was high and private investment was booming. Even major foreign investors were keen to invest in the country despite all the adverse publicity regarding corruption and political bickering. The monetary contraction must have sent a clear message to private business about the central bank's intent regarding the future course of the economy. This must have cooled off their enthusiasm and thereby reduced business activities. The economy, thanks to a buoyant private sector, attained a growth rate of 6.7 percent (2005-06) when it should have achieved well over 7 percent.

The effects of monetary contraction have been now further accentuated by the unfavourable circumstances of the last several months. Although the Bangladesh Bank governor has boldly predicted a growth rate of 7 percent or higher for the fiscal year 2006-07, it is doubtful that the economy can maintain the growth momentum already achieved. The latest indications regarding the volume of exports, imports, and investment are not very encouraging. Unless the government takes some urgent measures to improve the situation we shall have a rather ordinary year ahead. This will make poverty alleviation that much harder to achieve; many poor people will have to wait longer for a remission of their misfortune.
http://www.thedailystar.net/2007/03/...3181503114.htm

Last edited by ammark; June 5, 2007 at 04:31 PM..
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Old June 5, 2007, 05:05 PM
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From Today's Daily Star ... Inflation hits 9 year high

http://www.thedailystar.net/2007/06/06/d7060601044.htm

Last edited by ammark; June 5, 2007 at 08:20 PM..
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  #16  
Old June 5, 2007, 07:42 PM
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This discussion of contractionary monetary policy to rein in inflation is very interesting. Contractionary monetary policy is more effective when the inflationary pressures are from the demand side (increased income leading to excess demand). Higher interest rates will encourage savings, reduce spending and raise cost of investment (leading to slower growth). But if I am reading the recent news right, the inflation in Bangladesh is mainly driven by higher commodity costs (particularly the knock-on effects of higher oil prices) and food scarcity. I am sure I am not aware of the full picture but based on current information contractionary monetary policy is not likely to be very effective and possibly counter-productive as "Monetary Contraction and Growth" asserts. A case can be made that good governance (ensuring adequate supply of basic food materials, and protecting the poorest sub-group through directed subsidies) is the best approach, with a moderate expansionary monetary policy. Subsidizing transport fuel across the board will not be very sensible but a case can be made for diesel which is likely to have the most knock-on impact on overall cost of business.
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Old June 7, 2007, 09:35 PM
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বাংলাদেশের বর্তমান জনসংখা বৃদ্ধৃর হার কতো? ২০২০ তে বাংলাদেশের জনসংখা যা হবে তাতে তো আমার মনে হয় না অর্থনৈতিক সাফল্ল্য কোনো অর্থ বহন করবে।
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Old June 7, 2007, 09:48 PM
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bs has a pop growth rate of 1.9% as of 2004.
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Old June 8, 2007, 12:29 AM
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The current population growth is approaching around 1.5% or 2 million new additions every year.
Bangladesh has been highly successful in reducing the growth of its population over the years and hopefully over the years, it would continue with the trends.
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Old June 8, 2007, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sydney
The current population growth is approaching around 1.5% or 2 million new additions every year.
Bangladesh has been highly successful in reducing the growth of its population over the years and hopefully over the years, it would continue with the trends.
Sydney, would you be able to dig up the population growth trend in Bangladesh? I am interested. According to your data its 2 mil a year which means from 2007 onwards it would be 26 mil + what we have now without going into any complex mathematics. Which is 2.6 crore. Still a huge number. A very huge number considering our country is already among the most dense countries in terms of population.
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Old June 9, 2007, 01:56 AM
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I did some googling on the population growth trend of Bangladesh and came up with few interesting facts and figures.

Note: All the following are from different websites

A comparison of population trends in Bangladesh and Pakistan illustrates the importance of acting now. When Bangladesh was created in a split with Pakistan in 1971, the former had 66 million people and the latter 62 million, roughly the same population sizes. Then their demographic trends diverged. Bangladesh's political leaders made a strong commitment to reduce fertility rates, while the leaders in Islamabad wavered over the need to do so. As a result, the average number of children per family in Bangladesh today is 3.3, compared with 5.6 in Pakistan. Each year the gap in the population trajectories of the two countries widens. By putting family planning programs in place sooner rather than later, Bangladesh is projected to have 79 million fewer people than Pakistan in 2050.

Slowly, governments are realizing the value of investing in population stabilization. One study found that the government of Bangladesh spends $62 to prevent a birth, but saves $615 on social services expenditures for each birth averted—a 10-fold difference in cost. Based on the study's estimate, the program prevents 890,000 births annually. The net savings to the government total $547 million each year, leaving more to invest in education and health care.
http://www.earth-policy.org/Books/Eco/EEch10_ss4.htm



Which countries, worldwide, will have the highest increase in population during the 100-year period between 1950 and 2050? If the 1996 UN medium variant population assessments and projections are accurate (and there is no reason to believe otherwise) India will lead the group with an increase of 1.18 billion people - significantly larger than that of China, which will have a population increase of "only" 962 million (see Table C1_3). The third largest contributor to world population growth between 1950 and 2050 will be Pakistan with an increase of 318 million people. The ranking of the other 7 countries is as follows: Nigeria (+306 million); Indonesia (+ 239 million); Ethiopia (+ 194 million); United States of America (+ 190 million); Brazil (+ 189 million); Bangladesh (+ 176 million) and Iran (+ 153 million).


http://www.iiasa.ac.at/Research/LUC/...h1/tabc1_3.htm


I think this will give a brief but a good indication of where we are heading to interms of our population and how successfull our govt in the past was in curbing the growth.

Also a good read if anyone has time would be:

http://www.mukto-mona.com/Articles/k...har/BD_GDP.pdf
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Last edited by Rabz; June 9, 2007 at 02:35 AM.. Reason: some formatting
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  #22  
Old June 9, 2007, 02:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sydney
Oh...almost 10 hours and only 1 reply!!
Looks like nobody is interested in talking about the subject matter.!!
....may be i should have also opened another ajaira thread.....
Naah Bhaiya, it's more like it takes some of us a little more time to absorb the whole thing.....tube light.....pentium II.....or whatever you may call us *hehe* .....reading it now though.....
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Old June 9, 2007, 04:57 AM
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Thanks again for the excellent stats and comparisons Sydney Bhai. Scary that we're thinking of an increase OF 176 million to add to the current 150 million odd.
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  #24  
Old June 9, 2007, 06:26 AM
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Thanks for the stats Sydney. Interesting..mmmmm.

I didn't think we'd do so well on this front.
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Old June 9, 2007, 06:28 AM
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Quote:
7 pc GDP growth, curbing inflation given priority

New nat'l budget to be announced today

Staff Correspondent


The national budget for fiscal 2007-08 aiming at achieving seven per cent GDP growth will be announced by Finance and Planning Adviser Dr Mirza Azizul Islam today (Thursday).

The new budget announcement is likely to be covered live by Radio and TVs at 3 p.m.

Official sources indicated on Wednesday that the new budget, which also incorporates steps to help the poor survive inflation is unlikely to be bigger in size than the original budget of the current fiscal year, but will be larger than the revised budget of 2006-07.

UNB adds: The original budgetary allocation for fiscal 2006-07 was Tk 69,740 crore.

The government already approved an ADP of Tk 26,500 crore for the next fiscal year and the revised ADP of Tk 21,600 crore for the outgoing fiscal.

Finance and Planning Adviser Dr Mirza Azizul Islam has already made it clear that the budget will be an objective one in absence of any political pressure.

He said it would be based on realistic estimates of revenue receipts, foreign aid projection and an estimate of domestic borrowing that would not affect the macroeconomic stability.

Dr Aziz further indicated that the measures taken in the budget broadly focussed on job creation and poverty alleviation as well as achieving MDGs and the targets of PRSP.

Measures to simplify tax payment procedure, reduce discretionary powers of taxmen and de-link direct contact between the taxmen and taxpayers would be taken in the budget, he told reporters on different occasions.

Officials indicated that the new national budget is likely to offer reduced tariff on import of some essential items, even zero in few cases, as well as expand ongoing social safety net programme as a strategy to mitigate the heat of prices.

Authorities concerned considered that containing prices of import-dependent items would be very difficult due to increased prices in the international market while many countries even restricted exporting some food items from their countries.

“The duty reduction will at least help contain the prices to some extent while expansion of safety-net programmes in cash or kind will help reduce the people’s burden to some extent,” a highly placed official told UNB Wednesday, explaining the budgetary measure.

He said the government has already announced zero tariff on import of rice, wheat and peanuts (chhola), while more such items are likely to be declared in the proposed budget.

Another official said the budget for the fiscal 2007-08 is going to propose expanding social safety-net programme on consideration that the inflation directly affects mainly the poor.

The proposal will include different protection measures, including cash disbursement and distribution of food among the poor. In cases of cash disbursement, the amount will be increased while in other cases the number of beneficiaries will be raised.

Besides the short-term measure, the budget will also announce some mid-term or long-term measures to boost agriculture production as a strategy to address inflation.

The measures will include giving protection to farmers against the increased prices of diesel with special allocation made in the budget. Allocation for agriculture research will also be enhanced for increasing agriculture output in the longer term.

The budget for FY08 will not be announced ceremonially, nor broadcast live by Radio and TV networks as has been done in the past.

Officials said the recorded budget speech of Finance Adviser Dr Azizul Islam will be aired by Bangladesh Betar and BTV at 3 pm Thursday. Private radio/TV channels will carryout the feed from Betar/BTV.

Hard copy of the budget will be available to the media from the Press Information Department (PID) while the soft copy from the website in the afternoon.

Bangladesh Online Research Network (BORN), a programme of Development Research Network (D.net), will webcast the full text, highlights and analysis as well as reaction on the budget by eminent economists and professionals.

The Finance Adviser will hold a post-budget press conference on June 8 (Friday) at 3:30 pm at NEC, where he is expected to explain the main features of the budget.

Officials said that in the absence of parliament, the budget documents this time would be available to the media and some distinguished people from PID and to mass people through the website to elicit public opinion and suggestions.

“Suggestions and comments on the budget will be considered and accommodated wherever deemed appropriate. And then the budget will be adopted by way of an ordinance,” said a senior official of the Finance Ministry.

This is for the first time the government deviated from the usual practice of formally announcing the national budget, officials admitted.

Dr Aziz, Finance Adviser to the current interim government, will be the first man to present a full-fledged budget since there is no parliament now.

In 1996, Prof. Wahiduddin Mahmud, Finance Adviser to the then caretaker government, prepared an interim budget for fiscal 1996-97 but it was approved by parliament during the tenure of the then Awami League government. The budget was also fine-tuned by subsequent Finance Minister Shah AMS Kibria.
http://www.bangladeshobserveronline....20Stories.html
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