The Financial Express

Non-execution of Delta Plan to shrink GDP

Observes mid-term review

FE Report | Published: January 17, 2020 10:21:01 | Updated: January 20, 2020 11:25:31

Picture used for illustrative purpose only — Collected Picture used for illustrative purpose only — Collected

The execution of a longer-term development blueprint will raise Bangladesh's annual economic growth by 1.5 percentage points, considering the impact of climate change.

But if the government's Delta Plan 2100 is not implemented, Bangladesh will lose 1.3 percentage points of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth every year, according to an assessment.

The mid-term assessment report of the plan was presented at a seminar in Dhaka on Thursday with planning minister MA Mannan in the chair

Under a research on the "Integrated Assessment for the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100: Analysis of Selected Intervention," the findings were presented by professor of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) Mansur Rahman.

National professor Dr Jamilur Reza Chowdhury was present as the chief guest at the meeting.

Member of the General Economics Division (GED) professor Shamsul Alam, members of the Planning Commission Shahin Ahmed Chowdhury and Shamima Nargis and experts from the public and private sector attended the seminar.

Speakers said the Delta Plan is a key document of the government, which has considered climate change impact on Bangladesh, especially on its coastal districts.

The plan has been prepared by the GED, where climate change impact, water resources management, land uses, disaster management, agricultural development have been taken into consideration for the development.

Dr Alam said the plan has taken up a total of 80 development projects for the implementation in its first phase until 2030.

Of the total projects, only three have so far been undertaken and another 21 are under the approval process.

The Ganges Barrage project is among the remarkable projects, which will be implemented in coordination with neighbouring India, Dr Alam said.

Meanwhile, some 246 projects out of total 1,564 in the current annual development programme, ADP, are directly or indirectly linked with the Delta Plan, the GED member said.

He said if the plan is not implemented, Bangladesh is unlikely to meet its target of cutting poverty to a zero level by 2030.

"We have failed to repair and maintain 139 embankments of the rivers across the country. Those have almost been damaged," he said, adding flood and salinity levels could be controlled if the embankments were repaired in time.

The embankments' height now stands at below two and a half metres from the original four metres, he added.

The height of every embankment should be 6.0 metres, Prof Alam said.

Professor Jamilur Reza Chowdhury said there is no alternative to repairing the embankments to protect the coastal areas.

Although these activities are costly, the country needs to do so to save the possible losses, he added.

Prof Chowdhury has urged the government to protect the Sundarbans for checking the impact of climate change.

Mr Mannan said the proper implementation of the ADP will help execute the Delta plan.

He also laid emphasis on the use of local expertise as Bangladesh has world-class skilled manpower.



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