Jasim Uddin Haroon
The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) said Tuesday the country's gross domestic product (GDP) would increase by 0.52 per cent, if contributions of decoration, security, recruiting and cleaning services to the economic growth were accounted for.
The BBS, the country's national statistical organisation, revealed it while presenting findings of its survey on the four areas conducted during April 1-10 last year.
The BBS presented the findings before the technical committee headed by Professor Quazi Saleh Uddin, former vice chancellor of Jahangirnagar University.
BBS sources said though the four services were an integral part of the economic activity in the 'Real Estate, Renting and Business Activities' sector, still they remained unaccounted for in the GDP estimation.
The survey revealed that the four selected services accounted for total gross value of Tk 32,282 million and Tk 38,562 million in the fiscal years of 2009-10 and 2010-11 respectively.
If the new services are included in the GDP estimation, the figure will increase by 0.52 per cent at the current prices.
According to the survey findings, there are 18,011 decorators across the country employing thousands of workers.
About 500 security agents are providing security services, mostly in the urban areas.
The findings also reveal that 500 recruiting agencies are working in the area of manpower export while about 20 cleaning enterprises provide services in cleaning big apartments and business houses.
The BBS might include contributions of the four service sectors in calculating GDP in the current fiscal year of 2012-13, the BBS sources said.
Professor Barkat-E-Khoda, a member of the technical committee, told the FE: "As per the survey, the contribution of the four sectors is 0.52 per cent."
Mr Barkat, an economics professor, said: "We've asked the BBS to calculate the real values instead of nominal prices."
AKM Ashraful Hoque, a deputy director of the BBS, said it was the first time the BBS conducted a survey on such emerging sectors' contribution to the real economy.
"Whereas there was no estimation on the sectors, the BBS failed to include the contributions of the sectors."
The BBS took a number of measures recently to prepare quality data, especially in measuring the country's GDP which now stood at US$ 113 billion.
It is now working to change the base year from 1995-96 to 2005-06 to prepare more authentic GDP data. Resetting of the base year and revision of products and services will push up the GDP size.
It also included 163 new products in the industrial index to calculate their contributions to the GDP.