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Per-capita income surges nearly 200pc in 10 years

Kalerkantho Online   

20 March, 2018 21:28 PM



Per-capita income surges nearly 200pc in 10 years

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The per capita Gross National Income (GNI) surged by nearly 200 percent in the past 10 years, improving significantly the living standard of the people in both rural and urban areas across the country. 

According to the finance ministry, the per capita income swelled to $1610 in the financial year 2016-17 (FY17) from mere $543 in FY06. The increase was 196.50 percent, according to BSS report.

The phenomenal rise in GNI is one of the three pre-conditions that Bangladesh met to become eligible for graduating from the group of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). According to the UN's graduation thresholds, GNI per capita of a country should be $1,230 or above. 

The rising GNI has played a vital role in improving the country's socio-economic conditions and living standard of people in general.

"Bangladesh's poverty rate has dropped to 24.3 percent in 2016 from 31.5 percent in 2010. That means living standard of people across sections have increased," World Bank lead economist in Dhaka Dr Zahid Hussain told BSS.

Referring to the stable micro-economic indicators, the economist hoped that the rising trend in GNI would continue in future, taking Bangladesh out of the LDCs in 2024. 

He, however, suggested developing a contingency plan for minimising the risks and fencing off the challenges that Bangladesh would face after graduation from the LDCs group.

Financial Institutions Division Additional Secretary Manik Chandra Day said the eligibility for graduation from LDCs is a big achievement for the country's economy to attain the next development goals, including the Vision-2021.

"Higher growth in GDP (gross domestic product) and steady rise in remittance inflow have contributed to the surge in the per capita income, keeping the domestic demand vibrant," he said. 

Terming the eligibility for graduation from the LDCs as a good sign for economy, Senior Vice President of the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) M Nurun Newaz Salim said standard of living and economic activities also have moved up with rise in the per capita income.

"People who live in countries with higher per capita income tend to live longer with maintaining high standard of living", he added.

The chamber leader said that the economic activities have been increasing since people are spending more money for leading better life than before. 

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Modhumoti Bank Limited (MBL) M Shafiul Azam said MBL has opened about 200 agent points across the country under an initiative of the Bangladesh Bank for bringing grassroots people under financial inclusion. 

"From the agent points we have observed that the flow of money at the grassroots level is increasing day by day as people, even in remote areas, are now spending more money for purchasing various commodities, including refrigerator and television for making their life more enjoyable," he added. 

Rahima Akther, a housewife, said she is now living happily in the city with their two school going children as the income of her husband's business increased significantly in the past few years. 

She said her husband, who runs a grocery shop in the capital's Motijheel area, is now earning more than few years back as sale at his shop is increasing day by day.


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