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Overall economy stronger despite blockade, hartal: Muhith

09 March,2015

RTNN News Desk: Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith has said the country`s overall economy has strengthened despite non-stop blockade and hartal enforced by BNP-led 20-party alliance.

Placing a report on the first and second quarter implementation, progress, trend of earnings and expenditure as well as macro economic analysis on the current year`s budget in parliament on Sunday, he said Bangladesh is already on the path towards becoming a middle-income country, but the attempt to stop its socio-economic progress is now going on.

Terming it as a `temporary crisis`, Muhith said the government along with the common people`s heroic role would resist such anti-people activities within a short period.

"The revenue income has gone up by 13.2 per cent during the July-December period in the current financial year over the corresponding period of last fiscal year," Muhith told the House.

But the government`s expenditure went down by 1 per cent at Tk 76,798 crore during the period in the current fiscal year against Tk 76,854 crore spent during the corresponding period of the last fiscal year, he added.

Besides, the implementation of the Annual Development Programme (ADP) increased by 10 per cent in the same period of the current fiscal year compared to the last year`s July-December period, he said.

He also told the House that the export earnings increased to $14.9 billion in the first two quarters of the current fiscal year, 1.6 per cent higher than that in the July-December period in 2013-2014.

During the same time, the country`s imports rose to $22.3 billion, 18.3 per cent higher than that of the corresponding period of the last fiscal year, the Finance Minister said in his report.

According to the report, the opening of the Letters of Credit (LCs) and their disposals increased to 13.2 per cent and 10.1 per cent respectively during the July-December period of the current financial year.

The minister said the country`s remittance earning during the period rose by 10.6 per cent from 8.5 per cent of the same period during the last fiscal year, thus the foreign currency reserve reaching to $22.3 billion till December last.

In his report, the Finance Minister said that the inflation rate on a point-to-point basis declined to 6.1 per cent in December last from 7.3 per cent of the previous year`s same period.

Meanwhile, the government implemented the major portion of the previous year`s budget promised in 2013-2014," the finance minister said.

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