27 Nov 2021, 20:19

Govt willing to extend support for boosting agriculture sector: Mannan

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  DHAKA, Nov 27, 2021 (BSS) - Planning Minister MA Mannan today said that the government is willing to extend further support for boosting the country's agriculture sector to make growth for all.

  "Developing the agriculture remains a priority and the government is willing to extend further support and boost this sector to make growth work for all," he said while addressing a webinar as the chief guest.

  Research and Policy Integration for Development (RAPID), in collaboration with The Asia Foundation, organised the webinar titled 'Journey Towards Inclusive Growth: Challenges and Policy Imperatives for Bangladesh at 50 and beyond' today. 

   The webinar shared the findings from a research conducted by RAPID team members Dr M Abu Eusuf, Dr M A Razzaque, and Rabiul Islam Rabi. 

  The study looked into the challenges impeding the inclusive growth and proposed practical policy recommendations in line with the national development plans, said a press release. 

   The planning minister underscored the importance of dealing with political economy factors to drive inclusive growth. He noted that the government is taking care of the political economy factors to unlock various development bottlenecks. 

   Kazi Nabil Ahmed, MP, and member of parliamentary standing committee on Ministry of Finance, was present as the special guest. RAPID Chairman Dr. M A Razzaque moderated the event. Sofia Shakil, director of Economic Programs at The Asia Foundation, delivered the welcome remarks and mentioned that there is much to learn from the growth experience of Bangladesh.

   Kazi Nabil mentioned that regional inequality must be investigated in-depth to understand the dynamics and should be dealt with adopting pragmatic policy measures. He noted that, in light of the COVID-19 crisis, there will be scope to develop and employ more human resources in the health sector. 

   Dr M Abu Eusuf, Executive Director of RAPID and Professor of Dhaka University, made the keynote presentation at the webinar. In the keynote speech, Dr Eusuf noted that over the past several decades, Bangladesh has withstood overwhelming odds to emerged as a development success story. 

   "Robust economic growth, impressive health and educational attainment, strong export and remittance growth, prudent macroeconomic management, improved capacity to manage natural disasters, among others, contributed to the country's remarkable development," he said.

   Dr Eusuf said despite its impressive achievements on many fronts, numerous challenges and vulnerabilities remain. The Covid-19 global pandemic has exacerbated some of the longstanding challenges. He mentioned that, reforming the taxation system to provide the appropriate emphasis on direct taxation can help reduce income inequality and promote fairness. 

   Dr Mustafizur Rahman, Distinguished Fellow of Center of Policy Dialogue (CPD), also spoke at the event as discussant. He underscored the importance of proactively pursuing the progressive taxation policy and addressing the political economy issues to tackle inequality. 

   He also noted that importance of deepening partnership with trading partners and exploring the regional markets to boost trade and create productive jobs. 

   Dr Nazneen Ahmed, country economist of UNDP Bangladesh, stressed the need for strengthening the agricultural farming by better integration with improved technology and marketing activities. She also pointed out that technological innovation is not limited to machinery improvement only. It is also about bringing out diversity in high-yield crop production, adopting climate-resilient agriculture, etc. 

   The Bangladesh Country Representative of The Asia Foundation, Kazi Faisal Bin Seraj concluded the event noting that this is an opportune moment to celebrate the golden jubilee of independence while reflecting on the challenges and way forward. 


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