Wait 6 months for measures to take effect against inflation: Finance minister

Finance minister Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali speaks at the post-budget press conferenceProthom Alo

Finance Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali on Friday said the country must wait for six months to bring inflation under control.

He said the government is doing everything to control inflation and it will begin to decline by the end of this year, in line with the measures taken in the budget.

The finance minister said this while speaking at the post-budget press conference held at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the capital on Friday.

He said that keeping in mind controlling inflation, the size of the national budget has been reduced.

In reply to a query, Ali said the inflation is limited to the 9 per cent range due to the steps taken by the Awami League government.

“When Awami League came to power, inflation was around 9 per cent in 2009 and it rose to 10 per cent in 2010. But the government managed to bring the inflation under control within two years. Inflation was in the range of 5-6 per cent in the next decade,” said the minister during the press conference.

“We have taken all steps to control inflation, and are thinking about what more we can do to rein in inflation,” said the minister while adding that contractionary measures will continue for now.

With an eye towards battling inflation, the finance minister unveiled the Tk 7.97 trillion proposed national budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 on Thursday.

He was joined at the press conference today by Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Md. Tazul Islam, Industry Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun, Planning Minister Major General (retd) Major General Abdus Salam, Housing and Public Works Minister RAM Obaidul Muktadir Chowdhury, Prime Minister’s Finance Advisor Mashiur Rahman, Agriculture Minister Dr. Md Abdus Shahid, Education Minister Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury Nowfel, Commerce Minister Ahasanul Islam Titu, Finance State Minister Waseqa Ayesha Khan, Cabinet Secretary Md. Mahbub Hossain, Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rauf Talukder, and National Board of Revenue (NBR) Chairman Abu Hena Md. Rahmatul Muneem.

All of them except Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder spoke from the stage at some stage.

Talukder was reduced to a silent spectator as the journalists in attendance threatened to boycott the press conference if the governor was allowed to participate in the briefing.