Transparency International Bangladesh today (20 May 2022) called on the government to form an independent ‘economic strategy advisory committee’ to advise on ways to address potential global economic fallout and ensure continuation of the commendable economic performance achieved until now.
The call comes against the backdrop of the looming global economic crisis triggered by Covid-19 and the Russian-Ukrainian war, a TIB statement read.
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In the statement, TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman said: “At a time when the world is already struggling to cope with the fallout from Covid-19, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has exposed the global economy to an unprecedented crisis, including the collapse of the global food system that threatens the global increase in hunger and starvation.
“It is evident that Bangladesh cannot remain immune to the looming global economic challenges and uncertainties as evidenced by the Prime Minister’s thoughtful call for austerity and exploring other means to prevent that the crisis does not affect Bangladesh”.
“We have no doubt that the government will do everything in its power to ensure that Bangladesh not only successfully faces the impending crisis, but also that the commendable performance in terms of growth and socio-economic indicators remains on the right track. However, in this extraordinary context, we are calling on the government to form an independent economic strategy advisory committee to complement and strengthen the government’s efforts through strategic advice on how to address the potential economic crisis and ensure the continuation of the enviable economic performance achieved so far,” he added.
Drawing attention to the ever-increasing socio-economic fallout from climate change which has been severely exacerbated by the twin ills of Covid-19 and the Russian-Ukrainian war, Iftekharuzzaman said international experience shows that in such situations crisis, economic and financial challenges in almost all countries are exacerbated by a deeper and wider spread of poor governance, corruption and illicit financial transfers, including money laundering, which contribute to increasing the poverty, marginalization and deprivation of basic human rights of ordinary people.
In this context, the strategic orientations of the proposed independent committee composed of nationally and internationally renowned Bangladeshi economists, financial experts and other relevant social scientists will add great value to the government’s efforts, he said. .
The main task of the committee could be strategic guidance on how Bangladesh can evade and minimize the adverse effects of the global crisis in the short to medium term and at the same time ensure that the lofty goals of the perspective plan 2021-2041 remain on track such as upper middle income status by 2031 and high income status by 2041 alongside specific targets of eliminating extreme poverty by 2031 and achieving zero poverty by 2041, he added.