As the Covid-19 pandemic left a deep dent on the production trajectories of Bangladesh, the country must set its advancement priorities most suitable in 2021. Bangladesh aims to achieve the stiff Sustainable Production Goals (SDGs) by 2030, and it aspires to be an upper-middle-income region by 2031.
However, to meet up these expansion targets, Bangladesh have been confronting many creation challenges even before the onset of Covid-19.
The slow progress in the structural transformation of the economy, having less export diversification, the high amount of informality in the labour industry, the slow pace of formal job creation, the weak status of physical and social infrastructure, the slow poverty reduction and rising inequality remained the critical challenges.
The Covid-19 has aggravated several development challenges.
Looking back again to 2020, Covid-19, in particular, has aggravated PIE that stands for three key production priorities namely poverty, inequality and occupation. There is ample data that the poverty charge in Bangladesh has gone up considerably in 2020.
Many new poor persons may not be able to get away of poverty quickly because of various factors. For most new and older poor, poverty may continue to be as a long-position phenomenon.
Therefore, poverty will still be the foremost creation challenge in 2021 just as the economy is but to recuperate from the shocks, source chains of varied economic activities aren't completely operational and the social security programmes will be insufficient to handle the sufferings of the indegent.
There are also reasons to assume that Covid-19 has worsened the inequality situation in Bangladesh. As well as the conventional elements, such as income opportunities, riches, land-ownership and corruption, which aggravate inequality, Covid-19 has stimulated new avenues of inequality just like the digital divide. Furthermore, task losses are however to be totally recovered, and persons are either involved in inferior jobs or are low paid out.
Concerns linked to PIE advise that no reason will there be to remain complacent now and found in the times to come. The apparent economic and social ramifications of Covid-19 could be deceiving.
The macro-level picture of robust growth in remittance earnings, positive growth in exports and the steep upsurge in the forex reserves can give rise to improper expectations of early and quick financial recovery.
In recent months, the negative import growth in addition has contributed to the piling of forex reserves. The detrimental import growth is not conducive for purchase and business expansion - much needed for economical recovery in the days to come.
Also, the ground-level pictures of PIE can be extremely not the same as these macro pictures.
In such a crisis, the expected positive spill-over ramifications of macro variables might continue to be weak for long. The damaged or suppressed source chains and social networks in the economy might take a long time to heal and also to generate employment and lessen poverty and inequality.
Therefore, while the current focus of the discourse can be more on monetary recovery, the social restoration may take quite a long time. The gravity of interpersonal losses might be higher than that of losses measured through economic indicators.
The adjustment cost of recovery can be large. For survival, the crisis has forced poor-households to sacrifice potential customers of better overall health, better education and an improved life. You will see long-term intergenerational ramifications of these trade-offs.
As well, when schools and educational facilities own remained closed for months, it is possible that pupils from distressed backgrounds will face an increased burden, and many of these will be from the education system permanently.
At the organization level, various micro and small enterprises have already been struggling for his or her survival.
Additionally, there are new challenges emerging from post-coronavirus health complications. Even though almost all of the Covid-19 afflicted patients recover, many encounter various post-Covid health difficulties for which they want extra medical care.
The already stressed health sector needs major overhauling to address these challenges.
What ought to be the development priorities in 2021?
First, the current discourse on the development priorities needs to modification its focus from the narrow GDP expansion rate to broader production issues, i.e. poverty, employment and inequality.
Inability to effectively address these three critical development challenges can make the economic and social recoveries weak and fragile.
Therefore, you will find a need for significant expansion of the allocation and coverage of social security programmes.
Furthermore, the urgency to effectively sorting out the institutional difficulties in social security programmes to attain out to poor people is as part of your.
In this context, a thorough understanding of the economical and social losses as a result of pandemic is warranted.
So, the usefulness of credible and timely data cannot be overemphasised.
Second, the Eighth Five-Year Plan should be complemented by a thorough and pragmatic recovery program of the overall economy. There is a necessity to align stimulus deals with the recovery method. Many micro, tiny and medium enterprises and several vulnerable sectors will be feared to remain out of support through stimulus deals.
Therefore, there exists a need for an intensive reviewing of the challenges and constraints in implementing the stimulus deals. This review might help re-building and re-targeting the stimulus plans.
Third, the Covid-19 crisis period has provided the policymakers the much-warranted chance to undertake reform found in critical economic domains.
Without doubt, these reforms should aim at reducing the price tag on conducting business, simplifying regulations, and faster and cost-effective implementation of the mega tasks and the SEZs, thus establishing a favourable environment for the domestic non-public investment and the overseas direct investment.