Despite impressing economic growth, a large part of Bangladeshi citizens have not been able to attain the benefit as the benefits of growths were not equally distributed, a recent study of the Center of Policy and Dialogue (CPD) said.
The findings of the study was revealed at a discussion titled “Pursuing Social Development for achieving Inclusive Growth: Issus and Priorities” organized by the CPD in the capital.
The study found a robust economy during the first half of the past decade. On the contrary, the second half is entrapped with mismanagement in banking sector and capital market as well as in public expenditure.
This period is observed to have inequality in income, consumption and asset possession by different group of people of the society, the study said.
Moreover, increased number of youth unemployment is quite evident. Significant discrimination towards marginalized people and institutional ineffectiveness are also seen in this period. The second half also coincided with the period characterized by lack of political competition, the study added.
Presenting the key-note paper, Dr Fahmida Khatun, Executive Director of CPD said, Development is a multi-dimensional process; hence achievement in one area does not capture the essence of development.
She said economic growth in Bangladesh has been rapid and resilient in the past decade. GDP has been growing at more than six per cent since 2011. In FY 2018, the growth rate reached 7.86 per cent.
In 2000, the share of population bellow the national poverty line was 48.9 per cent and in 2015 it fell to 24.3 per cent. “So these are impressive figures but there are other figures which depict a different scenario,” she said.
The study said the income share held by the richest five per cent of the households in Bangladesh increased from 18.85 percent in 1991-92 to 27.89 percent in 2015-16.
In 2010, the richest five per cent of the households were 32 times richer than the poorest five per cent. This difference magnified astronomically when the richest five percent was 121 times richer than the poorest five percent.
The study also said that the jobs created in the Bangladeshi market were not adequate to meet the market demand.
In between the period of 2013-2023, 2.1 million people are expected to enter the country’s labour force every year. But the data of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics said in between 2015-16 and 2016-17, a total of 1,296 thousands jobs were created in the country.
Speaking on the occasion as the chief guest, MA Mannan, Minister of Planning said our main problem in the country is poverty. “We love growth because growth addresses the major issue like poverty.”
“Our primary objective is to carry the electricity and literacy to the remotest parts of the country. That’s our primary objective and we believe we have attained success in that,” he said.
“Now we will focus on inclusive growth and good governance,” he said.