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Substantial budget allocations must for marginalised people in Bangladesh

Published : Thursday, 23 June, 2022 at 12:00 AM  Count : 508
A S M ANAM ULLAH

Substantial budget allocations must for marginalised people in Bangladesh

Substantial budget allocations must for marginalised people in Bangladesh

Not from the knowledge of mastery of Economics; instead, as a student of Economics and analyst, I always try to understand one thing: how favourable the micro and macro-economic policies are for the citizen (mainly for the commoners) in a country like Bangladesh.


My current budget analysis of the Bangladesh Government for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022-2023 suggests that the current budget does not have any significant indications and financial allocations on how marginalised or socially disadvantaged people will benefit from the government's micro and macro-economic policy.

A few studies in Bangladesh suggest that the number of "new poor" have been increased between January and May this year (2022). After two years of cowardly-induced hardship, everyone has hoped for a speedy recovery of the economy and human life and livelihood.
Still, the recession has made lives difficult for most commoners and marginalised people in Bangladesh.

According to Mercy Tembon, Country Director of the World Bank for Bangladesh and Bhutan, Bangladesh has well performed and shown resilience in economic recovery from the pandemic resulting in a reduction of the poverty rate to 11.9% from 12.5% in FY2020.

However, the World Bank study did not reveal the new poverty rate added in the last two years. On the other hand, the extreme recession in Bangladesh has made new poor and put them on hard-line to survive with basic needs triggered mainly by the COVID-19 and war between Russia and Ukraine.

The World Bank's earlier study (2020) indicated that the COVID-19 pandemic is projected to push an additional 88 million to 115 million people into extreme poverty by 2020-2021.

However, the assumption was based on the 2020-2021 global economic condition, and the report of the World Bank earlier suggested the pandemic will bring the total to 150 million by 2021, depending on the severity of the economic contraction.

Other studies (e.g., Development Studies) reveal that by 2021, an estimated 698 million people, or 9% of the world's population, will be living in extreme poverty. This information also indicates that a person lives on less than $ 1.90 daily in some world regions.

More than one-fifth of the world's population lives below the $3.20 higher poverty line (1,803 million people), and more than two-fifths (3,293 million people) live below $5.50 daily.

On the other hand, according to the "Biennial Poverty and Shared Prosperity Report"(cited in the World Bank), extreme poverty, defined as living below $1.90 a day, could affect between 9.1% and 9.4% of the world's population in 2020 representing a regression of 9.2% in 2017.

It was expected that the poverty rate would fall to 7.9% if the pandemic had not hit the world; however, it did not occur; instead, the socio-economic conditions of the world went more volatile.

The number of new poor in the world has shown more than the earlierprediction by the World Bank. In developing countries, the rate of poverty hasincreased significantly. For example, in Bangladesh, at least marginalised people stand at 30.9 million, 18.54 per cent of the population.

A few studies have found that the COVID-19 pandemic pushed 24.5 million people into poverty - 14.85 per cent of the country's population.

Significantly, not only the Government of Bangladesh but also other NGOs and international organisations doing business in Bangladesh lacked the data on the actual number of marginalised people living below the extreme poverty. For example, several studies have shown that the population in Bangladesh's coastal and haor areas (e.g., approximately four to five million) is in extreme poverty.

Bangladesh's poor people and low wages have encouraged foreign investors in Bangladesh's less-regulated informal economic sector, where workers are collectively exploited by the state, employers and even global capitalists.

According to various surveys by international organisations (e.g., the World Bank), Bangladesh will perform significantly in micro and macroeconomics at national and global levels in the coming years.

However, the national government and employers have yet to ensure workers' basic social and economic needs by establishing an explicit and strategic national policy that eradicates marginalised populations' health, education, social security and financial problems.

The development in road communications and high-rise building constructions has been seen in recent days in Bangladesh. Still, surprisingly, marginalised people are becoming more marginalised every day, and there is no serious concern from the government and other social partners of the government to eradicate poverty from those marginalised populations.

The percentage that marginalised populations have contributed to the national GDP, we want to see that the Bangladesh Government at least has allocated this much money for the development of the marginalised people in Bangladesh.

Finally, the Government of Bangladesh, their other social partners, and the nation's capitalists are strongly urged to develop a significant plan to improve the living conditions of the workers and marginalised people in Bangladesh.

Therefore, allocating a considerable budget for their development projects is essential. Moreover, it should be kept in mind that without improving the productivity of most of the marginalised population of Bangladesh, the country's overall productivity and GDP growth rate will not change significantly.
The Author is an Australian Academic & Researcher of Development Studiesand Member of Amnesty International Australia and Sydney Outreach Committee (SOC), Human
Rights Watch Australia.







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