Golam Mostafa Jibon: People of the country are now leaning into single trade that raises hope in the dull economy during the global crisis.
Sources said, wholesale and retail businessesare gradually expanding in the country to tackle the crisis. Apart from increasing the contribution of this sector to the economy, it also plays a major role in employment. Even though once the number of partnership businesses was high, people are now more inclined towards sole proprietorships which indicatinga severe competition for surviving in the economicalarena. A recent survey of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) conducted considering 19 sectors of GDP revealed this information.
According to the report, the participation of wholesale and retail business in the country’s economy has stood over Tk 3,98,283 crore. Currently the total number of institutions in the country is about 25,40,897. Over 91,95,421 workers have been working in these institutions. Among them, the number of female workers is 2,03,191 and the number of male workers is around 89,92,230.
The survey report said that, the total employment expenditure in these institutions is Tk 10,312 crore. And the operating expenses have been estimated at Tk 66,811 crore.
According to BBS, about 39,30,521 workers have been added to this sector in the last 10 years.
In 2009, the number of workers in this sector was 52,64,900. On average, the workforce in this sector has increased from 1.99 percent to 3.62 percent. The number of male workers has increased to 38,18,178 people by a jump.
The survey said that, the number of workers in this sector has increased several times compared to the last 10 years. Especially the number of male workers has increased. Women have progressed relatively less in these sectors. Why the number of women workers in these sectors is low, the survey did not mention.
In the establishments surveyed by BBS, it has been seen that sole proprietorship establishments have increased in the country. In 2010 there were 21,25,482 sole proprietorships. In 2021, it rose to 24,08,678. However, the number of partnership institutions has decreased. In 2010, there were 4,89,000 partnership firms. After 10 years, it has decreased to 94,402. The total employment expenditure in these institutions has been estimated at Tk 1,00312 crore. Average gross value added per establishment is Tk 1,313.
Analyzing the survey of wholesale and retail business establishments, it has been found that, a total of 48,94,901 persons are employed in 15,39,450 retail business establishments. On the other hand, 32,17,129 persons are involved in a total of 6,84,038 establishments in wholesale business.
Muntashir Kamal, senior research fellow at the Center for Policy Dialogue, believes that, the contribution of wholesale and retail trade to the country’s economy is huge. Businesses are expanding with the increasingof demand. However, sole proprietorships are more common in the wholesale and retail sectors.
He also said, “Women’s participation in these fields is low, one of the reasons is the social context. We see women running businesses in a handful of two to four establishments in Dhaka city, but outside Dhaka it is negligible.”
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