SANGSAD BHABAN, Mar 4 (BSS)- Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith today reiterated his expectation that the economy this year would maintain a healthy 7 percent growth despite the scratches of various internal and external reasons.
The minister, while presenting in the Jatiya Sangsad the report on implementation, progress and the macro-economic situation for the July- September quarter of the current 2011-12 financial year, said the present government in the past three years successfully maintained steady economic growth with establishing a congenial political and social ambiance for development.
The finance minister said the government attained 6.7 percent economic growth in the past financial year after effectively fencing off the fallouts of global recession.
The inflation was also kept at 8.8 percent in the period amidst unremitting pressure from rising food and oil prices on the international market, he added.
The progress in rural infrastructure and in particular in the agriculture was also constant despite the spillover impact of global downturn, Muhith said and hoped that this inner strength of the economy made him optimistic about attaining the growth prospect.
The minister also referred to the significant increase in revenue collection, which cushioned the government from having the jolt of rocky-ridding global economy. According to him, the revenue increased by 21.5 percent in the first three months of the current fiscal year.
He said the revenue earnings was 97.5 percent of the targeted taka 95,187 crore for the revised budget of 2010-11 financial year when the revenue receipt was 18.8 percent higher than the target for previous 2009-10 fiscal year.
Giving the steady growth of revenue, the main source for maintaining fiscal balance and accelerating growth, Muhith said some other major development like qualitative changes in education, gradual improvement in energy and power supply and health services would help drive the economic growth.
The finance minister said the government in the past three years constantly pursued and effectively implemented development initiatives in energy, agriculture, industry and social sectors to expedite growth prospect.
He cited the benefit of offering health services at the people's doorsteps by opening health complexes at the union level and the outcome of the Union Information and Service Centres (UISCs) that provide people with basic information and service of the government.
Muhith said the government also offered stimulus to help spur industrial growth and employment that would eventually drive the economy to the upper trajectory.
Regarding the ADP (annual development programme), the finance minister said the implementation rate increased, but the use the foreign aid did not follow the rise significantly.
According to him, the ADP expenditure increased 43.9 percent for the first quarter of the current fiscal compared to the same period of the last fiscal. He said a special taskforce was now working to ensure the ADP implementation.
The minister said that the remittance inflow increased 11.80 percent in the first quarter of the current fiscal.
He said the foreign reserve in the first quarter is US$ 9.8 billion, which is able to pay 3.6 months' import costs.