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Controversial one-sided polls to deepen economic crisis: experts

Jasim Uddin

Policemen sit idle amid low turnover of voters at a polling centre at Dolairpar in Dhaka on Sunday. The 10th national elections held on the day amid violence and boycott by the BNP-led opposition alliance will deepen economic crisis, economists say. — Sourav Laskar Policemen sit idle amid low turnover of voters at a polling centre at Dolairpar in Dhaka on Sunday. The 10th national elections held on the day amid violence and boycott by the BNP-led opposition alliance will deepen economic crisis, economists say. — Sourav Laskar

The 10th national elections held on Sunday amid violence and boycott by the main opposition alliance led by the BNP will deepen economic crisis continuing in the country over the last several months, economists said.
The election will not bring any positive change in already devastated economic situation, rather the economy will move further towards the darkest side of the episode, if confrontational politics is not ended immediately, they said.
The government to be formed through one-sided and less-representative elections will suffer from lack of support from the large portion of the society and face difficulty in implementation of decisions related to development programmes, they observed.
Development projects and other policy decisions related to economy cannot be implemented by force if public support remains low, they explained.
‘The elections possibly will ensure constitutional continuity but will fail to end political unrest including blockade, strike, vandalism and arson on vehicles the country has been experiencing for in last few months if political impasse is not settled soon,’ Mustafizur Rahman, executive director of the Centre for Policy Dialogue, told New Age on Sunday.
If confrontational politics prolongs, adverse impact on economy will also linger and people will suffer most, he said.
‘Both political sides led by the ruling Awami League and opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party need to continue discussion for amicable settlement of political stalemate to restore stability in politics and economy as soon as the elections are concluded,’ he said.
Former Bangladesh Bank governor Salehuddin Ahmed said the government would not get moral support from the people as it was going to be formed without proper representation of people.
‘Implementation of development programmes and policy decisions will be difficult for the government as a large portion of people will not own the government and that will hamper overall economic development of the country,’ he said adding that implementation of development programmes was not possible by force.
Bangladesh is going to lose its prospect of economic development through the elections, he said.
Political leaders should come to a compromise for the sake of economy and for development of the country, he said.
Former adviser to the caretaker government AB Mirza Azizul Islam said the elections held amid violence and boycott of many political parties would not be acceptable.
‘The economic situation that has already reached on the verge of collapse in last few months will worsen in the coming days if political parties cannot reach to a consensus over conflicting issues and stop violence,’ he said.
The elections will not solve the economic crisis, he said.
The economy has already entered into the new calendar year with a shocking reality carrying from the year 2013 wherein achieving the targets of the gross domestic product growth, revenue collection, export earnings, annual development programme implementation, public and private sector investment and containing the increasing inflation have become uncertain, economists said.
They echoed with the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and all other national and international development partners’ prediction over the DGP growth of the country in the current financial year at the range from 5.5 per cent to 5.8 per cent against the government target of 7.2 per cent mainly because of the ongoing volatile political situation.
Shortfall in revenue collection by the National Board of Revenue reached to a new height of Tk 5,331 crore in the first five months of the current financial year, ADP implementation dropped to 20 per cent in July-November, private sector investment experienced a negative growth and remittance fell short of target in the period.
According to an estimation of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, business activities worth around Tk 10,000 crore in the readymade garment sector, which is the country’s main export earning source, were hindered in last two months due to the political unrest.




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Controversial one-sided polls to deepen economic crisis: experts

Policemen sit idle amid low turnover of voters at a polling centre at Dolairpar in Dhaka on Sunday. The 10th national elections held on the day amid violence and boycott by the BNP-led opposition alliance will deepen economic crisis, economists say. — Sourav Laskar
The 10th national elections held on Sunday amid violence and boycott by the main opposition alliance led by the BNP will deepen economic crisis continuing in the country over the last several months, economists said. Full story

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