Evidence is mounting of the damage being done to the economy by strikes and violent blockades.
The IMF projects that growth in GDP will fall to 5.5% in the current fiscal year, from an average of over 6% in the last four years and the government’s current target of 7.2%.
The National Board of Revenue is reporting a growing shortfall in revenue collection, as businesses of all sizes are being hit hard by the political crisis.
All sectors, including vital RMG exports, are being hit by shortages in raw materials and delays in being able to ship products to market. The opportunity cost of investment and long-term planning being delayed due to fears of political violence is incalculable.
By disrupting transport and supply chains, the blockades have triggered a rise in food inflation which is hurting all household budgets hard. Milk production has dried up as millions of litres of milk have been wasted by interruptions in distribution and supply. The six major national poultry associations report losses of more than Tk4,000 crore in the last three months as farmers and poultry breeders have been forced into selling stock below production cost.
Farmers and food processors are incurring mounting debts and around 30% of farms are reported closed in the poultry sector. The knock on effect on suppliers of feed and all those who depend on producing and selling food is impacting on millions of workers and businesses, both large and small.
The country cannot afford to continue suffering these levels of losses.
Politicians must stop being complacent about the economy and act urgently to end the crisis.
Source Dhaka Tribune