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Bangladesh - December 17, 2022

Economic freedom still a nightmare!

52 years of independence

Golam Mostafa Jibon: Country’s economic freedom is still a far cry even after passing 52 years of the independence due to unbridled corruption and irregularities of different sectors including banking and financial arena.
Though, Bangladesh gained independence in 1971 through the greater Liberation War, country’s people are still searching for economic freedom along with foods and works.
Country has gained the independence in exchange of sacrificing 3 million lives. After a long run effort, the economy has started to turn around slightly from scratch and today is the 41st largest economy in the world.It is estimated that Bangladesh will become the world’s largest economic country among 193 countries by 2035.The country’s budget, which started with a budget of only Tk 507 crore, has now exceeded Tk 6 trillion.The size of the economy has increased, GDP growth is increasing day by day;along with that, Bangladesh is now known as the ‘Tiger Economy’ of Asia.
Reduction in poverty rate, remittances, foreign investment, export volume, women’s contribution to the economy, average life expectancy, education rate and higher education rate of girls were almost on the rise before the onslaught of Ukraine-Russia war.Bangladesh is going to achieve incredible success in sustainable development and implementation of large projects.After the independence, country’s economy has undergone radical changes.But, it was a broken dream.Currently, although the corona epidemic and Ukraine-Russia war have affected the economy of Bangladesh to some extents, it is trying to overcome all the recessions and return to its previous position. But, corruption and irregularities in different government and non-government sectors mainly the trend of money siphoning have become biggest obstruction in the economic growth. Experts said, Bangladesh has shown success in dealing with the corona epidemic. If the corruptions and irregularities are not root out from the soil of the country, it is not possible to take the taste of economic relief or freedom.
Bangabandhu brought huge changes in the agricultural sector.Bangladesh is called an agricultural country.The agriculture sector continues to make a huge contribution to GDP today.At present, the contribution of agriculture sector to GDP is 13.47 percent and according to Manpower Survey 2016-2017, 40.62 percent people earn their livelihood through agriculture sector.Undoubtedly, agriculture is still an important sector in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh’s journey started depending on agriculture, but now the industrial sector is going to occupy that place.The contribution of the industrial sector to the GDP is growing at a significant rate, a part of which includes garments.Over 85 percent of Bangladesh’s total export earnings come from the garment industry.
According to the sources of Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGME), more than 4 million workers are now involved with working in nearly 4000 factories in the country.
In 1972, country’s per capita income was $70.Currently, the per capita income in Bangladesh rose by 9 per cent year-on-year to $ 2,824 in 2021-22, according to data of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics.The per capita income was $2,591 in 2020-21.In local currency, the figures stood at Tk 241,470 in 2021-22 and Tk 219,738 in the previous year.

The average life expectancy per capita was 46.51, currently the average life expectancy per capita is 72.6 percent.From 1972 to 2020 there is a surprising change in our GDP.In 1972, the total GDP growth rate of Bangladesh was only 2.5 percent.In 1995, it increased to 6.5 percent.In the fiscal year 2019-20, the country’s GDP growth rate was 8.15 percent.Currently, Bangladesh is the 41st largest economy in the world.
According to a report published by UK-based research institute Center for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), Bangladesh will be one of the 25 economies in the world by 2032.Then Bangladesh will be the 24th largest economy in 2040.
Bangladesh is not behind in the field of education.The government is working with the goal of creating a world-class study environment including high-quality universities and research.Bangladesh has reached a new milestone in the export of goods.
Economists estimate that, Bangladesh’s exports are likely to grow at an average rate of 7.1 percent until 2030.Currently, due to the corona epidemic and Ukraine-Russia war, the export is somewhat slow, but very soon Bangladesh will overcome it and return to the previous consistency, economists expected.
According to a report, Bangladesh will gain reputation as a $7000 export economy in 2030.
The National Economic Council (NEC) on September 4, 2018 approved ‘Delta Posnan-2100’ as a long-term strategy for flood, river erosion, river management, urban and rural water supply, waste management and flood control and drainage management.Under this, the government will implement 80 mega projects by 2030.But all the dream of Bangabandhu including building a golden Bangladesh is now going to be spoiled due to current inflation situation and unbridled price hike of essential commodities.
Many complained that, building a country witheconomic freedom of the people and free from hunger and poverty is still a far cry, if the rein of corruption,money siphoning, inflation and essential price hiking is not pulled down by the government.

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