May 22, 2021


Bangladesh outpaces Indian as income per capita increases to $2,227

When Bangladesh emerged as an independent country in 1971, it was arguably the poorest country in the world or close to it. Fifty years since the independence under the prudent leadership of Honourable Prime Minister (HPM) Sheikh Hasina , the country is growing rapidly and ranks ahead of its big neighbour India. And braving the general economic gloom caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Bangladesh's per capita gross national income jumped by more than 9 percent to $2,227 in the current fiscal year from $2,024 in 2019-20. The GNI denotes all the income of a country's residents and businesses including residents abroad, while the gross domestic product (GDP) takes into account only the domestic production.

Remittance Inflow: Country secures sustainable growth in South Asia

Bangladesh's remittance growth in 2020 was the highest in South Asia with an 18.4% rise from the previous year, thanks to a shift in flow from cash to digital and from informal to formal, said a latest World Bank report. The remittance flow to India, the region's highest recipient country, fell by 0.2% from the previous year while Pakistan, the second-highest recipient, saw an increase of 17% , according to the WB's Migration and Development Brief. The main drivers for the steady flow included fiscal stimulus that resulted in better-than-expected economic conditions in host countries, a shift in flow from cash to digital, from informal to formal channels, and cyclical movements in oil prices and currency exchange rates, the WB report read.

Dream metro rail completes test run in Dhaka

A test run of much-talked-about Dhaka Metro Rail was carried out inside Uttara’s depot area in the capital last week as part of performance test of the first set of metro trains imported from Japan. Six coaches of Japanese Kawasaki-Mitshubishi Consortium-made electric train successfully completed 500 metres test run before the media in the capital’s Uttara depot area. The first set of the metro trains six coaches, including two locomotives, arrived at the metro rail depot workshop at Uttara in Dhaka from Japan on April 23. Envisaged by HPM Sheikh Hasina, this landmark initiative, once set in motion, will give Dhaka residents a hassle-free travel everyday. Upon its completion, the metro rail will be able to transport 60,000 people per hour and would reduce the 2-hours travel time from Uttara to Motijheel to only 40 minutes.

Government plans bigger expansion to widen social safety net

Directed by HPM Sheikh Hasina, works are put in place to expand the country’s social safety net in the upcoming budget in a bid to safeguard people whose livelihoods have become vulnerable due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic alongside the poor ones. As part of the move, all the aged population and widowed and abandoned women of 150 upazilas will get allowances in the next fiscal year while affected transport workers will get social protection and freedom fighters will get higher allowance. At present, all the aged population, and widowed and abandoned women of 122 upazilas are getting government allowances. In total, 12 million people of the country may be brought under the government’s wider social safety net in the next fiscal year, according to media reports.

Road transport coming under digital surveillance

In line with the electoral pledge of Digital Bangladesh, put in place by HPM Sheikh Hasina, the country's road and transport sector is coming under the digital security system (DSS) for ensuring smooth highway connectivity and online payment system. From now on, Digital Security Agency (DSA) will supervise activities of Road Transport and Highways Division (RTHD), toll plazas and data centres of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) and Roads and Highways (RHD) and online banking system. As the road network in the country and its related data have been increasing, cyber security is now necessary for the division in order to ensure uninterrupted road network and revenue earnings from the sector.

Covid jab purchase from China gets nod, Bangladesh gets 6,00,000 as gift

The government last week approved a proposal in principle to procure SARS COV 2 (Covid-19) vaccines from Sinopharm of China under Direct Procurement Method (DPM) in order to meet the growing demand of vaccines in the country. In addition, China last week announced providing the second batch of 600,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine to Bangladesh as gift. Honourable Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a phone conversation with Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen in this regard. Prior to this announcement, China had gifted the first batch of 500,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine to Bangladesh. Meanwhile, Covishield, the Covid-19 vaccine of Oxford/ AstraZeneca made in Serum Institute of India, has shown a “robust” immune response among the Bangladeshi adults, an interim analysis of the icddr,b and IEDCR study finds.

WEF lauds digital payments in RMG sector

World Economic Forum (WEF) has appreciated the inclusion of digital wage payments in apparel sector in Bangladesh mentioning that the tool helps workers, not only to have better control over wages but also to access other financial services. In a recent study paper, the WEF described the way digital payment systems can boost Bangladesh to meet the sustainable development goals (SDGs). The global platform also mentioned that Bangladesh RMG sector has now embraced digital payments in a big way as the logical next step.

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