25 Jun 2022, 20:29

Padma Bridge to put multidimensional impact on economy: economists

DHAKA, June 25, 2022 (BSS) - Two leading economists of the country today said that the Padma Bridge, inaugurated today by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, would put a multidimensional impact on the country's economy alongside simplification of the communication system.

They said with the inauguration of the bridge, the communication to and from Dhaka would be much easier with 21 districts of southern and southwestern region of Bangladesh and thus the economic scenario of that region would be changed.

Former Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr Atiur Rahman and distinguished fellow of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Dr Mustafizur Rahman also opined that the Padma Bridge would be the main centre of economic corridor of the country while unimaginable changes would be brought into the landscapes and economy of those 21 districts.

While talking to BSS, Dr Atiur said that the Padma Bridge has been transformed into a symbol of economic emancipation while it would contribute immensely to the southern economy of the country.

"Unthinkable changes will be brought into the society and economy of those 21 districts while people will be able to travel with ease and comfort and also in much less time through the bridge," he added.

He said with the inauguration of the bridge, Bangladesh for the first time, has come under an integrated communication system while the villages of southern region would also witness the "wind of change".

Citing findings of a survey, Dr Atiur said that with the launching of the bridge, around 1.04 percent of the country's total workforce would be employed while around 10 lakh new employments would be created in the next five years which would triple after 10 years.

He mentioned that once the communication and investment environment is improved with the inauguration of the bridge, the poverty rate in this region would be reduced by 1.01 percent every year while the countrywide poverty rate would be reduced by 0.84 percent every year.

The former central bank Governor also cited that due to the improvement in regional and international connectivity, the GDP growth of the southern region would be increased by 2.5 percent every year while that in national level by 1.26 percent per year. Besides, there will be additional one percent GDP growth once the rail communication is launched at the bridge.
He also opined that with the inauguration of this much hyped Padma Bridge, the Prime Minister has set up a new milestone in the highway of economic emancipation.

Mentioning that the entrepreneurs from both home and abroad would be interested to set up industries in the southern region since the bridge has been inaugurated, Dr Atiur suggested for providing a special stimulus package for the southern region for the next five years.

Distinguished fellow of CPD Dr Mustafizur Rahman said that the day of inauguration of the Padma Bridge is a special day in the socioeconomic development of Bangladesh while it is also an exceptional milestone in national self dignity.

"With the launching of the bridge, an important geographical barrier will be removed while a scope for concerted and integrated economic development will be unveiled, which will be not only the precondition of economic growth, but also the precondition of inclusive development" he added.

He said that centering the bridge, there has been a plan for setting up some 17 special economic zones in 13 districts alongside numerous industrial parks.

Noting that the Padma Bridge would play an important role in inter-regional communication, Dr Mustafizur said that the role of this bridge would be very important in implementing the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) motor vehicle agreement.

The eminent economist said that the Padma Bridge would be an important center of regional and sub-regional economic activities considering the operations of Mongla and Payra ports, Trans Asian highway and rail connectivity.

"The Padma Bridge will be the main center of economic corridor if there is a tridimensional successful coordination of communication connectivity, investment connectivity and trade connectivity," he added.


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