M A Yousuf Ali & Md Obaidullah
A financial crisis is characterized by a sharp fall in asset prices, the inability of firms and individuals to pay off their debts, and a lack of liquidity within the financial institutions. Other events that have the potential to be classified as a financial crisis include the bursting of a speculative financial bubble, a crash in the stock market, a default by a sovereign government, and a currency crisis. In a post-pandemic situation and owing to the Russia-Ukraine war, the world is experiencing a terrific financial crisis.
We have seen the political and economic crisis in Srilanka. Early in the month of April, protests in Colombo, the nation's capital, were sparked by concerns over rapidly increasing prices and spread across the country. In the UK, as a result of the worsening issue concerning the cost of living, inflation has now surpassed its worst level in 40 years. Recent research on the cost of living crisis asserts that more than two million adults in the UK have gone a whole day without eating because they can't afford to.
The circumstance, however, of third world countries such as Bangladesh is more miserable. There are still a great number of people in this country who are living below the poverty line. This country is also confronting a financial crisis. We have a significant quantity of foreign debt. The unbridled inflation in prices of key commodities like rice, beans, oil, bread, sugar, and water has reached its pinnacle, and the news about it is continuously reported in the press and on social media platforms.
We have seen the disheartening scenario that people are hanging behind the TCB truck. Also, there have even been cases of family members taking their own lives as a result of starvation and poverty. We believe that in order to deal with the current situation, we need to put aside all of our differing views and collaborate on ways in which we might lessen the number of people who have killed themselves. Here are some recommendations to get rid of this crisis:
* First of all, zero-tolerance policy against corruption ought to be declared. It has to be stopped by any means. Furthermore, the market monitoring system needs to be bolstered so that unscrupulous people in business cannot create misery for the mass people
* We are largely dependent on imported products; nevertheless, it is essential to minimize our reliance on imports. Imports of luxury items, in particular, should be cut to zero per cent.
* Remittance is the key driver of our economy. Needless to say, we often see their critical condition in the foreign countries. The government is obligated to do an accurate evaluation of remittance fighters.
* According to the national labour force survey (LFS) conducted in 2016-2017, 11% of young people are unemployed, and their portion of the overall unemployment rate is close to 80%. Training in various technical trades such as driving, electrical, mechanical, computer is what's needed to get young people out of unemployment and onto the job market. Those who are interested in starting their own businesses ought to be provided with the appropriate opportunities. Moreover, sending young people who are unemployed overseas with technical training and language instruction would be beneficial.
* Many young people who are unemployed should be offered the opportunity to work independently as freelancers. They are no less than the expatriates. Rather, they are the best at boosting the country's economy without requiring a large investment. We must take effective measures to help them. In addition to providing free service training at various Union and Upazila levels, a computer centre can be set up for people who do not have the device, where one impoverished member can use the computer for 6 hours in a row by enrolling for a nominal fee.
* The soil in Bangladesh is known for its high fertility. Each and every square foot of its land needs to be put to productive use. It should not be left fallow, regardless of whether it is the roadside or the edge of the yard. It is imperative that grains and vegetables be cultivated in every available space.
* Those who still have some funds available for investments make plans to put those funds into productive activities.
* Ensure that the state takes responsibility for the collection and distribution of zakat.
* Put an end to living a lavish lifestyle, and instead focus on leading a reasonable and active one, regardless of the field of work you're in.
To ensure the aforementioned suggestions, we have to be aware personally and socially. Furthermore, strong GO-NGO collaboration is needed to implement effective policy initiatives.
M A Yousuf Ali is a writer, translator, and a freelance columnist and Md Obaidullah is a Research Assistant, Centre for Advanced Social Research, Dhaka.