Friday, August 7, 2020 | ePaper

Rural economy going to be under pressure with returnees from cities: Experts

  • Print




Bangladesh’s rural economy is going to be under pressure as a significant number of people from urban areas are returning to their respective villages losing the sources of their earnings due to Covid-19 fallout, says an expert.
"The rural economy is unlikely to be able to absorb the pressure," former caretaker government finance adviser Dr AB Mirza Azizul Islam told UNB.
He said the agricultural sector, the driving force of the rural economy, is going to be overburdened with the returnees though the sector contributes 15 percent to the GDP while provides 40 percent jobs.
D Aziz said mechanised tools are being used for increasing productivity in the agricultural sector and their use is going up day by day, reducing the demand for farm workers.
Distinguished Fellow of Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Prof Mustafizur Rahman said the rural economy obviously will be under pressure. "This pressure will continue as long as the health risk, caused by the pandemic, is there. This is going to be a huge burden on the already slowed down rural economy.”
Dr Mustafiz pointed out that the large number of manpower who used to go abroad every month for jobs are now stuck in rural areas due to the current situation. “More than six lakh people used to go to abroad from Bangladesh. They’re now there in rural areas. Given the current situation, it can be said the economy is under huge pressure," he said.
Talking about the support to the rural economy to cope with the pressure, Mirza Aziz, also Visiting Professor at BRAC University, said the government should help this section of people through its relief distribution measurers.
For medium- and long-term measures, he said, the coronavirus will hopefully disappear or its intensity will reduce in the coming months. "And at that time, we’ll have to put in our all-out efforts to restore the production and supply chain," he said.
Mirza Aziz put emphasis on guiding the SME sector by the government after the Covid-19 and quick restoration of production in big industries in full swing.
Dr Mustafizur Rahman said the government should expand its social safety net programmes to include the people going back to their villages.  "The cash transfer scheme can be expanded from the existing 50 lakh."
He stressed the importance of spending money on renovation of rural roads and investing money in public works to engage a good number of returnees in those programmes.
"The stimulus package of Tk 5,000 crore that allocated for agri-loans should be implemented quickly so that people living in rural areas could start their economic activities which will be helpful to engage more people," he said.
Prof Mustafiz said if the government can carry out these initiatives properly there will be a qualitative change in the economy which will absorb some pressure.
He, however, emphasised addressing the health issues at the moment. “And after that, the government should pay its attention to revamping the economy. Currently, nothing is going on for these two sectors, there is a question about the policy matters as weel."

Source: UNB News

More News For this Category

Mountaineer Reshma dies after microbus ploughs into her bicycle in Dhaka

Mountaineer Reshma dies after microbus ploughs into her bicycle in Dhaka

A school teacher has died after being run over by a microbus while cycling in Dhaka.The incident took place on Lake Road behind the Parliament building in Sher-e-Bangla Nagar around

Body of a real estate businessma found at construction site in Dhaka

Body of a real estate businessma found at construction site in Dhaka

Police have recovered the body of a real estate businessman, presumed murdered, from a construction site in Dhaka's Bashundhara Residential Area.The victim was identified as Abul Khair, the owner of

Bangladesh's virus caseload crosses 250,000; another 27 die

Bangladesh's virus caseload crosses 250,000; another 27 die

The tally of coronavirus infections in Bangladesh has surpassed 250,000, hitting another unwanted milestone in the pandemic that has upended millions of lives in the country.The government said 2,851 new

The incident is not isolated: We demand joint investigation into easy crossfire killing

Editorial Desk :Chief of Army Staff General Aziz Ahmed and Inspector General of Police Benazir Ahmed on Wednesday told a joint press briefing that the easy killing of retired

Story of a reckless OC

Story of a reckless OC

Staff Reporter  :Pradeep Kumar Das, Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Cox's Bazar's Teknaf Police Station, was withdrawn on Wednesday after 22 months of his duty in this police station. In these 22

ACC summons ex-DGHS DG Azad

Staff Reporter :The Anti-Corruption Commission on Thursday summoned immediate past Directorate General of Health Services director general Abul Kalam Azad to interrogate him over his alleged involvement in N95 mask

Lack of monitoring blamed for anarchy in health sector

Reza Mahmud :Lack of proper monitoring to supervise the activities of hospitals and clinics are the vital response behind the anarchies in the health sectors, public health experts opined. Besides,

39 more die from coronavirus in 24 hours

Staff Reporter  :The death toll from coronavirus has reached 3,306 as 39 more people died from the disease in the last 24 hours.Besides, 2,977 more tested positive for the virus,

'Coronavirus now affects kidney, abdomen more than lungs in Bangladesh'

News Desk  :Dr Bijon Kumar Sil, Head of the Gonoshasthaya Kendra team which invented Covid-19 testing kits, on Thursday said the novel coronavirus is now creating kidney and abdominal problems

Health officials need DG's permission before talking to press

Staff Reporter :Health ministry in an order directed the health officials not to talk to media without permission from the director general of Directorate General of Health Services.The order, received