2018-10-08 12:38:18 BdST

8th Five-Year Plan formulation: Govt won't seek donors' help


The government has no plan to seek donors' assistance in formulating the upcoming Eighth Five-Year Plan, officials concerned said on Sunday.

Development partners have shown their interest in lending a hand to formulate the apex national planning document, they added.

"Development partners (DPs) have shown their interest. But we don't believe Bangladesh would need their help to make the five-year plan," said Planning Commission (PC) member Prof Dr Shamsul Alam.

"We didn't take their help in the sixth and seventh five-year plans. And that strategy will continue during the upcoming Eighth Five-Year Plan as well," he said.

Mr Alam, whose General Economic Division (GED) is responsible for making five-year plans, said after a meeting between the government and donors on Sunday.

"The five-year plan is our national planning document and we'll formulate it on our own," he said.

Mr Alam delivered a keynote paper on the progress of the Seventh Five-Year Plan at the meeting.

Principal Coordinator for SDG Affairs Abul Kalam Azad and UN Resident Coordinator Mia Seppo also attended the plenary meeting with ERD Senior Secretary Kazi Shofiqul Alam in the chair. Representatives from almost all major development partner agencies attended the meeting.

Bangladesh is currently in the middle of implementing its Seventh Five-Year Plan which spans from fiscal year (FY) 2015-16 to FY 2019-20.

The Eighth Five-Year Plan, on the other hand, would be implemented from FY 2020-21 to FY 2021-25.

The GED is aiming to start the formulation of this apex planning document from the middle of the next year, PC sources said.

"Probably, some technical assistance would be required to develop sector-based or theme-based approach papers. Otherwise, no development partners' help would be sought in the upcoming five-year plan," Mr Alam said.

It is to be noted that the Eighth Five-Year Plan would be implemented at a time when Bangladesh would graduate from the least developed country (LDC) status.

Reflecting on this, Mr Alam said, "In future, DP collaboration would be required only to implement major infrastructure projects, in human resources development and in areas which require technology transfer."

The development partners at the meeting also asked about the progress made regarding the implementation of sustainable development goals (SDGs).

In this regard, PC officials said they are at the final stage of publishing an annual SDG progress report which would be publicly available within a month.

Government representatives and development partners also discussed Bangladesh's upcoming graduation from its LDC status.

"We've highlighted the key challenges that the country may face during and after LDC graduation and what measures the government is taking to face those challenges." ERD Additional Secretary Monowar Ahmed said.

The meeting also discussed scope and ways for reviewing the working groups coming under the local consultative groups in line with the SDGs and the Eighth Five-Year Plan, the officials added.

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