The national taskforce, working to implement the roadmap for Bangladesh’s graduation from a Least Developed Country status to a developed one, yesterday criticised a planning commission impact assessment report saying it “portrays only the negative side of graduation”.
The General Economics Division (GED) of the planning commission in the report said that Bangladesh stands to lose $7 billion in export earnings every year once it graduates to the developing country bracket in 2027 as the trade benefits it currently enjoys will then be phased out. GED member and Senior Secretary Shamsul Alam placed the report, titled “Impact Assessment and Coping up Strategies of Graduation from LDC Status for Bangladesh”, in a taskforce meeting held at the planning ministry, sources said.
“Taskforce members raised questions about the basis of calculation done on the loss after graduation, and said that the report does not portray a positive side of graduating,” said a taskforce member.
In response, GED officials said that they prepared the report through various research organisations, including Policy Research Institute, and consulting with several renowned economists.
They added that the report was made after calculating the possible loss of earning from exports, which may happen after graduation due to the phasing out of tariff benefit and price hike.
The report also made several recommendations for the government to avoid any possible loss after graduation.
The meeting, attended by taskforce members who are also secretaries to different ministries, was presided over by the head of the taskforce Abul Kalam Azad, who is also the prime minister’s chief coordinator on the Sustainable Development Goals.
The taskforce was formed in January last year.
Finance ministry officials said that the Committee for Development Policy (CDP), a United Nations panel, that announced the graduation, would also make an impact assessment report on Bangladesh’s possible losses after graduation.
“They [the CDP] will prepare the report by 2021,” ministry sources said.
GED officials said they have started the process of the eighth “Five Year Plan 2021-2025” keeping the losses after graduation in mind and chalking out possible measures to offset the losses.