Sunday, January 24, 2021 | ePaper

Forget GDP growth talk about living harsh life of common people

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Over the past decade, only the growth rate of the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) has been at the centre of attention of economic policy discourse without highlighting the qualitative and distributive aspects in Bangladesh. Instead, one should focus more on the figures that people can see and relate to their lives, said some distinguished economists.
In this context, it is to be mentioned that when South Korea and China advanced, their citizens could see the changes in their own lives as well as in their respective areas. Even a visitor also gets an idea about the stage of development of an area by looking at the surroundings.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) has declared the GDP growth rate at 5.24 per cent in the fiscal year 2020 despite the impact of coronavirus pandemic. However, the country's leading think tank - Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) - has questioned the reliability and integrity of the official data and suggested that BBS should be endowed with adequate financial resources to undertake needed tasks for restoring credibility.     
The outrageous corruption has hollowed out the economy. The country's economy is good for the plunderers because foreign exchange we earn from migrant workers slavery abroad. They should have jobs within the country. The government is not sorry for their inability to create jobs and our jobless people suffer and humiliate to earn and repatriate their hard earned money in foreign exchange. This money is mostly used for easy foreign trips of ministers and President. They have to go abroad for treatment of any sort and take foreign trips at pleasure.
Media report in a national daily on Monday said that economic development means an improvement in the standards of living and it is a matter of feeling, happiness. This is something that can be visible and is not a matter of calculation on papers only. People have to feel that their living standards are improving. There should be a wide range of indicators so that common people can clearly comprehend and compare the degree of development instead of trying to understand the much-touted terms - GDP growth and poverty reduction -- as frequently used by policymakers to interpret the economic well-being of the nation.
So, instead of paying too much attention to only GDP growth, our opportunist experts should focus on living conditions of the general public. That they will not do. It is too late any way.

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