Published:  12:54 AM, 06 December 2023

'Soaring income disparity a matter of concern'

Income disparity has widened among the people in Bangladesh under the current social security system and this has turned into a matter of concern, said Dr Binayak Sen, director general of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS).

He was addressing a seminar, organised celebrating 63rd founding anniversary of International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) in the capital on Tuesday.

Dr Sen also said that inequality is increasing-generally speaking, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. But the nature of inequality in Bangladesh is somewhat different. He further stated that a disparity regarding consumption has also increased. In 2022, the value of gini coefficient regarding consumption at the national level was 0.334, with 0.356 in cities and 0.291 in villages.

If the value of gini coefficient stands at 0, this suggests that complete equality exists in the society. If the value is 1, this suggests that the society is completely unequal. When the value of gini coefficient crosses 0.50, this suggests that there exists high income disparity in the country. That means, Bangladesh has turned into a country with high income disparity.

Binayak Sen presented a keynote paper titled 'Poverty Trends and Determinants in Bangladesh: Insights from Recent Evidence' at the seminar.
He said the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war have adversely affected the country's poverty situation. However, Bangladesh has made significant progress in reducing poverty in the last decade.

Binayak Sen highlighted the main factors of poverty and proposed some policies to overcome the situation. He proposed to implement smart macroeconomic management, sustainable development and improvement in efficient human resources through adopting short-term and middle-term plans taking into consideration the geo-economic conditions.

Canadian High Commissioner in Bangladesh Lily Nichols was the chief guest at the seminar. ICDDRB officials and researchers among others, present in the seminar.

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