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11 October, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Bangladesh’s poor record of fighting inequality

Bangladesh’s poor record of fighting inequality

It would hardly be an overstatement to say that here in Bangladesh economic policy makers are not careful enough about balanced development. They are more focused in improving the rate of growth rather than equal distribution of wealth. The poor in Bangladesh rarely, if ever, become the beneficiaries of the economic development that the country is making for several decades.

For a long time Bangladesh has registered an overall growth rate at six per cent and in the recent years, the rate has increased to more than seven per cent. People here celebrated this growth, but paid little attention that poor people of the country are remaining poor or their condition is very slowly improving.   

The relevant policy makers have hardly taken any measure in the recent past to offset this rising trend of inequality. This very picture has recently come to limelight as the Development Finance International and Oxfam presented a list of the countries in terms of the policies of their governments adopted to change the trend. According to the Commitment to Reducing Inequality (CRI) Index 2018 they made, Bangladesh ranked 148th among the 157 countries. It is a poor record indeed.

Some days ago we had a similar report: the rich in Bangladesh was rising faster than anywhere. In that report we have seen the number of ultra-high net-worth (UHNW) individuals in Bangladesh rose by 17.3 percent during the period from 2012 to 2017, while this figure for a country like China is 13.4 percent, India is 10.7 percent, Pakistan is 8.4 per cent and US is 8.1 per cent. This means that Bangladesh, in the whole world, has seen the quickest growth of ultra-rich people.

If the ever increasing gap between rich and poor continues without any check in Bangladesh, discontent among people is bound to appear threatening its social peace and stability. Therefore, it is immediately necessary to take such steps that would ensure inclusive and balanced economic development. These steps must also address country’s poor record in welfare spending and tax system, and existing wage inequality in the lobour market. The latter three are areas on the basis of which the Development Finance International and Oxfam presented the recent report.    

Bangladesh cannot develop sustainably through its present lop-sided economy. In the 1960s and 70s, America could assert itself because its economic development was inclusive. Policymakers in Bangladesh must be mindful of the weak side of its economy while making its development policy.     

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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