Focus Writing: The Targets of 8th Five Year Plan

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The Targets of 8th Five Year Plan

The National Economic Council (NEC) approved the 8th Five Year Plan (8FYP) on 29 December. The approval with different social and economic targets has come from the NEC meeting. The targets are as follows.

In the eighth five year plan, a target is set to attain a yearly 8 percent GDP growth on average in the next five years. By 2025 it sets the target of attaining GDP growth of 8.51 percent.

Through the eighth five year plan (2021-2025), the unemployed people of 1 core 16 lacs 70 thousand will be employed. Among these 35 lacs, job opportunities will be created abroad and the rest are in the country.

To reduce the poverty and inequality the plan sets steps to ensure quality education and nutrition for children, help for the poor, and development of rural infrastructure.
In this fiscal year, the inflation rate is set to 5.5 percent, and the government stresses to cut inflation to 4.8 percent gradually by 2025.

To uplift people from poverty, the plan emphasizes inclusive growth through labor-based export-oriented industries and the diversification of agricultural products. The government sets targets to bring down the poverty rate to 15.6 percent and the extreme poverty rate to 7. 4 percent during the 8FYP.

8FYP sets the target that the investment to GDP ratio should be improved to 37.4 percent – 28.2 percent from the private sector, 3.0 percent directly from foreigners, and 9.2 percent from the government – to create the expected number of jobs.
It also sets a per capita income target of $3,106.

The plan also targets improving the savings to GDP ratio to 34 percent from 29.5 percent and slash the spending to GDP ratio to 70.3 percent, from 75 percent. Within the 8FYP period, the government has also set a target to increase the life expectancy to 74 percent from the existing 72.4 percent.

Challenges for Bangladesh for the implementation of 8FYP

For the implementation of 8FYP Bangladesh will face a number of challenges. Among the challenges, the major challenges are four in number. They are Covid-19 pandemic, graduation from the LDC category, the implementation of the SDGs, and climate change vulnerability. The achievement of the 8FYP targets will depend on how effectively these challenges are confronted.

Covid-19 pandemic: Covid-19 pandemic has made our economic and social conditions deteriorated. It has put pressure on the economy which has resulted in a rise in poverty and inequality. Many factories, businesses have been closed and informal workers, the urban poor, migrant workers, and women are among the most affected segments by the pandemic.

Though Bangladesh has managed to improve exports, remittances, and foreign exchange reserves in recent times, the economy is still not out of the woods since the pandemic is going on and vaccination has not yet started here in Bangladesh.

So policymakers will also have to work for the health safety of the people while working towards achieving the economic indicators for the eighth five-year plan. In order to bring people out of poverty, there should be more public expenditures. So the government will have to handle many difficulties to achieve the targets fulfilled.

Graduation from the LDC category: For graduating from the LDC category in 2024, Bangladesh will have to minimize the impact of the removal of various trade benefits and international support measures for preparing for smooth graduation. In this regard, it has to improve social, environmental, and labor-related problems.

The Implementation of the SDGs: There will be only five more years left for the implementation of SDGs at the end of the 8FYP. Poverty reduction, gender parity in primary school education, and reduction in maternal mortality have been under threat due to the pandemic.

So Bangladesh has to take these improvements back to the pre-pandemic situation and then has to improve them further. This will be a huge task for Bangladesh. So for these Bangladesh requires both strong commitment and resources and policy reforms in many sections like education, labor market, gender, tax system, public expenditure, investment, international trade, and accountability of the institutions.

Climate Change Vulnerability: Though Bangladesh has performed better in dealing with natural disasters, dealing with the impact of climate change will be beyond its capacity given the nature and scale of the impact predicted by The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). During the five-year plan investing in green energy, green building, and green agriculture will be a huge task for Bangladesh.

Though there are some barriers due to the pandemic and other obstacles ahead of our country, it is expected that 8FYP will achieve its targets much better than the previous plans and change the yardstick of achievement from GDP growth to all other targets during the Eighth Five Year Plan period.

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