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‘Bringing inflation under control will require six more months’

Finance Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali on Friday has requested the countrymen to wait for six months to bring inflation under control.

He said inflation will begin to decline by the end of this year in line with the measures taken in the budget.

The finance minister was speaking at a post-budget press conference held at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the capital on Friday (June 7).

He said the size of the budget has been reduced so that any pressure doesn’t fall on inflation.

In reply to a query, Mahmood Ali said the inflation is limited to 9 per cent range owing to the steps taken by the 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,” he said during the press conference.

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

With an eye towards battling inflation, Finance Minister unveiled the Tk 7.97 lakh crore proposed national budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 on Thursday (June 6).

He was joined at the press conference by LGRD Minister Md. Tazul Islam, Industries 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, State Minister for Finance 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.

Finance Secretary Dr Md Khairuzzaman Mazumder moderated the press conference.

All of them except Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder spoke from the stage. Talukder was reduced to a silent spectator as journalists in attendance threatened to boycott the press conference if the governor was allowed to participate in the briefing.