Monday, February 19, 2018 | ePaper

Eid economy should encompass all people in the country

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FESTIVALS are common to all societies and cultures. With changes in social and economic structures, nature of festivals too changes. However, bearing the stamp of Islam - the festive economies of Bangladesh surrounding both the Eid festivals have turned quite massive in recent times.
However, every year the festival is having increasingly strong socio-economic impacts into the lives of countless million people in Bangladesh. Shopping centres for clothes, footwear, cosmetics, jewellery and electronic gadgets witness bumper sales drawing hundreds of thousands of taka ahead of Eid. Given that the majority of Muslim businesses spend a substantial amount of cash for the festival, stock markets become enlivened with an added zeal, remittances pour in - a special business spree starts for transportation sector as large number of people travel to various destinations. Media reports confirm the magnitude of financial transaction mark the celebration of Eid in an economy of one hundred sixty million populations with US $ 1430 per capita GDP.
And it is right here where people from all walks of life deserves his/her humane share of joy, and deserves to be a part of the economy as per the teachings of Islamic value. It is not a mere festival for the wealthy to indulge in competition on who can spend more money on what commodity, rather it should be who can actively engage more people in terms of sharing his/her wealth. It should be a competition for encompassing the people from poor and the low-income segments.
For good many years the implications of the Eid economy has become noticeably big that many commercial banks often faces liquidity shortages and are forced to borrow from call money market to tackle the rush. Banks and non-banking financial institutions reportedly made a record of transaction on the call money market by borrowing collectively thousand of crores taka from the market last year. The situation became such that, Bangladesh Bank was forced to pump a record amount of money into the banking system as clients flooded almost all the branches of banks across the country before the start of Eid vacation. This year the situation is not very different.
The existing trend of the Eid economy should, however, change and incorporate the needy by introducing some subsidised or non-subsidised special packages. The thousands of crores worth of buying and selling should become an all inclusive one and not an exclusive occasion for the merriments for the higher income group. All citizens of the country deserves to be a part of this festive economy.    

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