‘Agri subsidy should continue to ensure food security’
The government should continue giving subsidies to the agriculture sector to ensure food security and shun imports, economists said today.
Bangladesh should continue subsidising the agricultural sector as much as possible so that no threat hits the country, said Prof Mustafizur Rahman, a distinguished fellow of the Centre for Policy Dialogue.
"We can take risks in any other sector, but not in agriculture."
He made the comments at a panel discussion on "Inflation and consumption", at the Strategy Summit 2022 held at Radisson Blu Dhaka Water Garden.
The Valor of Bangladesh (VoB), a platform to facilitate constructive dialogue amongst industry leaders, corporates and academia, organised the daylong event.
The policymakers should be very cautious before hiking prices of the agriculture sector's elements, because any negative impact originated from here will result in rising the country's spending for grain imports, he said.
The country is facing an extreme pressure to reduce subsidies, but, at the same time, the government has to work on ensuring balanced use of fertiliser in the agriculture sector, the economist said.
At the summit, Bangladesh Bank's Chief Economist Habibur Rahman highlighted different programmes Bangladesh Bank is taking for the farmers.
About inflation and the recent oil price hike, Rahman said people with fixed income will have to suffer, as they are the worst hit and will need support in the days to come, he said.
Khondaker Golam Moazzem, research director of the CPD, and Humayun Rashid, managing director of the Energypac Power Generation Limited, also spoke at the event.
The summit congregates some leading industry high-ups through a series of panel discussions to share their perspective on the macroeconomic challenges to build a sustainable future.
Anis A Khan, chairman of the VoB, opened the summit where Syed Mahbubur Rahman, managing director and CEO of Mutual Trust Bank Ltd; Professor Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam, chairman of Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission, also shared their views.
Presented by MTB and powered by Sajida Foundation, the summit comprised of eight-panel discussions on inflation and consumption, energy infrastructure, forex matrix, RMG and manufacturing, agro-economics, banking and finance, digital economy, and ESG.
The Daily Star is the media partner of the summit, which was attended by over 40 senior economists and executives of various companies.