Nationwide shutdowns and blockades in the last six months have cost transport, garment, agriculture and tourism sectors a combined Tk 49,017 crore, the Centre for Policy Dialogue said yesterday.
The loss is equivalent to 4.7 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) of fiscal 2012-13, said CPD Distinguished Fellow Debapriya Bhattacharya at the launch of the think tank's Analytical Review of Bangladesh's Macroeconomic Performance in FY2013-14 study.
In one of CPD's earlier studies, it was estimated that 1 percent loss of the country's capital stock leads to 0.9 percent loss of GDP.
"We still maintain the stance."
He said the CPD came to the conclusion following an assessment of the magnitude of economic loss caused by the political turmoil through a meticulous study of the news reports published in the print media.
The study focused on four major sectors such as export-oriented clothing and textiles, agriculture and agro-based industries (vegetables, agro processors, poultry, frozen food, agro machineries, jute), land transport (rail and road) and tourism.
The reported losses included loss of assets, operational and income person-days of work, Bhattacharya said.
"However, one needs to be mindful that this loss does not represent the loss of value addition. The present exercise attempted to estimate the monetary value of the foregone capital and income for these four sectors,” he said.
The estimate shows that due to the 55 days shutdowns and blockades from July to December 2013, land transport incurred the highest amount of loss, amounting to Tk 16,688 crore, followed by agriculture and agro-based industries Tk 15,829 crore, clothing and textiles sector Tk 13,750 crore and tourism sector Tk 2,750 crore sector.
The CPD study left out small production and businesses despite being hit hard by the opposition-enforced shutdowns and blockades, as the think tank could not collect sufficient data to capture the losses they encountered.
"We think that the small businesses have been affected seriously. Had we managed enough data we would have seen that the sector topped out list," Bhattacharya added.
The economist said the study would help policymakers identify the sectors which have suffered the most should they decide to compensate them.