Mahfuja Mukul: After much recession, the economy has become stronger due to Ramadan, Pahela Baisakh and Eid. Remittances in March crossed $2 billion.
On the other hand, the national and local government elections are held this year. As a result, candidates are also spending money. Due to these reasons, the flow of money has increased in the market. Those concerned say that there is no specific account of the economy of the festival.
However, various government and private accounts say that an additional one and a half lakh crore rupees will be traded in the economy this month. This extra money is being added to the food, clothing, entertainment and transportation sectors. Apart from this, the bonuses of various types of workers including government employees, shop employees, clothing and textile sector workers will also be added to this activity. As a result, retailing has increased from sidewalks to elite shopping malls. Shopping has increased online. The iftar market is crowded. The flow of money is also increasing in the village.
Economists say that economic activity increases as large sums of money are frequently exchanged in various sectors around the festival. It increases the revenue of the government. According to them, the demand in the economy has increased. With this, if the supply cannot be maintained, inflation will increase.
If asked, the former caretaker government’s finance advisor AB Mirza Azizul Islam told that the market was stagnant for 2 years due to Corona. Then the Russia-Ukraine war began. This time three festivals together. It has a positive side in economics. Because it creates additional demand in the country. According to him, the whole festival can be said to be positive if the supply can be kept in line with the demand. Mirza Aziz also said that government employees and private companies are also giving bonuses.
With this additional money in the market, the purchasing power of some people will increase. This will create an internal demand. However, he thinks that the price inflation may also increase a little.
It is known that the country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) as of the current financial year is Tk 44 lakh 49 thousand crores. However, there is no precise account of how much money is traded in the festival. Helal Uddin, former senior vice president of FBCCI and current president of Bangladesh Shop Owners Association, has done his own survey on the economics of fasting and Eid festival.
The survey showed that additional transactions of Tk 150,000 crore are being added during fasting and Eid. According to the survey, about Tk 40 thousand crore are being added to the apparel market. An additional 27 thousand crore rupees is added to the commodity market. Tk 67 thousand crores are coming for Zakat and Fitra. Tk 800 crores in the transport sector. Tk 4,500 crore rupees are spent on travel and entertainment around Eid. Apart from this, the flow of money will increase in the activities of some other sectors.
This includes bonuses for 1.4 million government officials and employees, 6 million shop employees, and 7 million direct and indirect workers in the garment and textile sector. Which is coming to the Eid economy. There is also remittance money sent by expatriates. $201 million remittances came in March. Which is Tk 22 thousand 110 crores in local currency as 110 taka per dollar. Bangladesh Bank expects it to increase further in April.
It is known that Ramadan is the first among the three festivals under discussion. In this month, people’s demand for products increases. The demand for such products, which are especially used at Iftar, increases several times. These include – edible oil, chickpeas, dates, onions, sugar, pulses, eggs, fruits and vegetables and other items. In Ramadan, hundreds of thousands of people across the country do seasonal business based on Iftar. This trend was less in the last 2 years due to Corona. But this time it has increased greatly. It has a positive effect on the economy.
The second festival includes PahelaBoishakh. It is the universal festival of Bengali. Irrespective of caste, let everyone become a Bengali on this one day. There has been no institutional research yet on the exact size of the Baisakh economy. However, according to sources, the potential amount of the transaction will be 15 thousand crores. The government has also given bonus this year for the festival. Boishakh festival was not celebrated in Corona for 2 years. But due to Ramadan, like last year, the main festival of Baishakh including panta-ilsha will be closed.
However, Mars procession, clothing market and other activities will continue. As a result, the wind of Baisakh has already hit the economy. The festival will conclude with various designs of clothes, variety of Bengali food, distribution of cards and mobile greetings, fair and Halkhata. Famous companies are offering special offers on Boishakh. Banks have attractive offers on credit cards. Bengali dresses of rich colors and designs in fashion houses. Every day the crowd is increasing in the houses to buy new clothes.
Various companies have given special price discounts to attract customers. Consumer interest in online shopping has grown tremendously in the past few years. Hilsa is the main attraction of this festival. At present, although catching hilsa is prohibited, traders have started marketing hilsa stored in various cold storages. Retailers, flower, pottery and jewelery traders are not far behind. From villages to cities, everywhere is crowded around Boishakh. Preparing to welcome the Bengali New Year. Numerous fairs are being organized in villages. Baisakhi Tant Mela has started in different places of the city.
Businessmen say that clothes are bought more during Baisakh. 20 percent of the annual purchases are made in Baisakh. 60 percent in two Eids together. The rest is all year round. Saree, Punjabi and Fatwa are sold more. Visiting Asia’s largest market, Yamuna Future Park, the malls are crowded with elite and middle-income shoppers to buy all kinds of Boishakhi outfits and clothes. Showrooms of famous brands are busy.
Especially Metro Fashion, Arang, Anjans, Desi Das, Navarupa, Gentlepark, Infinity, Catseye, all the top brands of the country have arranged the Boishakhi clothing store. Various professions are being sold at 5 to 50 percent discount. Besides, almost every shop is decorated with kites, masks and red-blue lights. Customers flock to these showrooms to buy their favorite clothes. Shopping is going on at Yamuna Future Park. Colorful three-pieces, kurtis, sarees for girls and Punjabi, fatwa for boys are sold more.
And there is a great collection for children too. And this time the price of clothes will not be more than last time. All in all, the country’s economic activities have gained new momentum around Boishakh. Eid-ul-Fitr is the biggest religious festival of Muslims after Baisakh. The flow of money naturally increases during Eid. Bonuses of public and private employees, business money, remittances from expatriates and zakat-fetra add up to 1.5 lakh crores in the economy. A part of it has already gone to the village.
A portion of the rice or other crops stored in farmers’ houses has started to be sold to meet the additional expenses of Eid and fasting. Trade in seasonal fruits like watermelon has also picked up. Also, as the financial year has come to an end, there has been a rush to spend money on various government development projects. As a result, money flows towards the village. Economists say that most of this money is going to luxury. And some part is going to various small and cottage industrial production sectors of the village.
Former Director General of Bangladesh Development Research Organization (BIDS) MK Mujeri told on Monday that the three festivals are of three types. Eid is the biggest religious festival for the majority of people in the country. There is no doubt that the flow of money increases the most during Eid. This money is increasing in entertainment-oriented sectors including apparel, consumer goods, hobbies and travel. So, it plays a big role in the economy. He further said that the size, type and scope of the festival economy has increased more than ever before.
People spend a lot of money around this festival. Producers, importers, traders are all benefiting from this. There is a positive impact on the economy as a whole. However, there is a risk of inflation. Due to the increased flow of money, the price of goods will increase. Some people may have problems with it.
It is known that a large amount of consumer goods have been imported to meet the additional demand. These are now being sold in the retail market. A lot of money is spent on buying new clothes during Eid-ul-Fitr. Clothes are being sold in markets according to the needs of people of all ages. At this time, the demand for inner wear increases at a great rate. When asked to know, Helal Uddin, president of Bangladesh Shop Owners Association, told on Monday that business is not so good this time.
Because people don’t have that amount of money to meet their food needs. Because of this, even though the footpaths are crowded, the big markets are not yet crowded like that. But in our opinion, there was a possibility of business accumulation after Corona. But the fire in Bangabazar has changed the calculation somewhat. But hopefully, in the few days that there are, the sales will increase.
Meanwhile, most of the people of the city go to the village houses at the end of the fast to celebrate the Eid festival. During this time, the transportation of goods and passengers and the movement of ships increased tremendously. This also increases the flow of money. On the other hand, many people go to various places in the country and abroad for entertainment based on Eid. As a result, additional money flows into the tourism sector. Overall, these activities generally increase the effect of extra money in this month compared to other months.
Apparel Market: A major driver of the Eid economy is the apparel market. At this time, sales of clothes increased three to four times in shops. The largest supply of innerwear comes from the innerwear market at Urdu Road in Old Dhaka. The country’s departmental and mufswal markets along with various markets of Dhaka are supplying native clothes from this market. There are 450 clothing shops here.
Consumer market: Demand for all types of daily goods increases during Eid. Notable among these are edible oil, meat, sugar, pulses, pulses and onions. As a result, the import of these products also increases. During fasting and Eid, the demand for edible oil is about 300,000 tons, sugar 200,000 to 350,000 tons, pulses 60 to 70000 tons, chickpeas 50-60000 tons, dates 15000 tons, onions 350000 to 40000 tons and the demand for garlic is about 80 thousand tons. In addition to their own money, traders are provided with a large amount of money from banks to import these products.
Bonus: This year 1.4 lakh government officials and employees are getting Eid bonus in light of eighth pay structure. These include three forces, police, BGB, officers and employees of state-owned banks. Besides in private offices, institutions are also giving bonuses in their own structure. Besides, the bonus of about 70 lakh workers in the clothing and textile sector is also being added. All of which is added to the Eid economy.
Shop employee bonus: The bonus of shop employees across the country is playing an important role in the Eid festival economy. According to Bangladesh Shop Owners Association, there are 20 lakh shops, shopping malls, commercial establishments in the country. On an average, 60 lakh manpower is working in a shop with 3 people each. An employee is given a bonus ranging from Tk 6 thousand to Tk 15 thousand. According to that, the workers of this sector are getting a bonus of Tk 4 thousand 800 crores with an average bonus of Tk 8 thousand. All of which are adding to the Eid festival economy.
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