3.25 crore new poor leading miserable life
Clutch of corona pandemic
Special Correspondent: At least 3.25 crore people across the country has become poor a new due to clutch of corona pandemic as many of them have lost their jobs. They are now leading inhuman life for want of income.
A survey by The Power and Participation Research Center (PPRC) and BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) recently revealed that, the second wave of the corona epidemic has pushed around 19.54 percent of the total people or 3.25 crore of people into poverty.
The survey was conducted by The Power and Participation Research Center (PPRC) and BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD).
The fourth phase of the survey was conducted last August to find out the impact of corona on the economically weaker sections of the population.
PPRC Executive Chairman Hossain Zillur Rahman said, “The new poverty rate was estimated at 21.24 percent in June 2020. In March 2021, it decreased to 14.75 percent. The rate has risen again in August due to the second wave of corona that started last April.”
He added, “Although the initial decline in income was due to the coronavirus crisis, the recovery process had begun. Seeing this positive trend, many considered the issue of new poverty as a temporary problem. However, after several months of the crisis, the second wave of coronavirus has hit and the recovery process has turned upside down again and the problem of new poverty has increased.”
Zillur Rahman mentioned that the recovery process was further damaged due to the second lockdown in April 2021.
According to the survey, the recovery process is moving in the opposite direction and 18 months after the outbreak of the epidemic, the average income of the poorest 23 percent of the poor participating in the survey is lower than in the previous period. The number of households that skipped meals one day at a time was 2 percent in March 2021, rising to 7 percent in August. This year, the unemployment rate has risen from 2 percent in March to 14 percent in August.
Rajib Uddin, a rickshaw puller in Baridhara in the capital said, “I used to earn at Tk 700 to Tk 1,000 per day before onslaught of corona pandemic. After carrying my households, I would able to save some of the money. But, all my savings were spent during the lockdown. Besides, the income has decreased drastically after withdrawn of lockdown as many people are now unable to pay high fare due to their poor income.
In this situation, I have been leading miserable life along with my family members due to poor income.”
Jafor Ikbal, who lost job from a corporate house said, “It has now become difficult to carry my households due to lack of income as I have lost my job last year. The concern office sacked many people like me on the excuse of poor business. In this situation, I have been passing days with half meal or without meal along with my family.
Though, the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has allocated fund as incentives for several sectors, many people are still leading miserable and poverty-stricken life for want of works and income due to various reasons including mismanagement in disbursement of incentives by banks.If the incentive money was disbursed properly, business and commerce in the country would be more activated. But,many small and medium entrepreneurs have already become force to shut down their trade centres due to shortage of capital.
Sirajul Islam, Executive Director and Spokesman of Bangladesh Bank said, “Bangladesh Bank has taken various initiatives with a view to ensure proper distribution of incentives announced by the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. But, some banks are showing disinterest in this purpose. Action would be taken against those, if specific allegation is found against any bank.”
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