We now need “pro-poor government”

ফার্মগেটে ঘন্টার পর ঘন্টা বাসের জন্য দাঁড়িয়ে থাকা সাধারন মানুষ

What we’ve experienced from the past is that when one party or an alliance comes to power they do whatever they like including scrapping many important projects undertaken by the previous government, formulating new laws to protect themselves from legal actions by the judiciary and initiates ambitious projects which are not must to be done immediately. And many of the projects are pro-rich or we can say profit-oriented. Though there are some projects for the poor, but those are not effective for a rapid change in society in terms of living standard.

The move to come out of the LDC cycle is delayed as projects to assist the poor spectrum of the country are only a few, where the government’s expenditure is also “low”. What we can realise is the problem lies with outcome from the investment. The governments here do not go for massive pro-poor projects as the national and international development agencies are reluctant at this point and unfortunately, even the educated and rich people who are given the responsibility to government the country for at least five years are not pro-poor. We see governments taking initiatives which merely involve the poor people and largely benefit the rich to be more rich. Thus the development of the poor people in Bangladesh gets delayed for years and it is continued…

My objection is there–thriving profit is a must for business and this tendency is seen among the private firms, but why with the government of a developing country? We should not forget how Japan, China, Malaysia and Thailand developed so fast…

Here, the present government has given a 16-year plan on different sectors when it resumed office in January 2009, and it’s working to implement those; but at a snail’s pace. It should have felt much “responsibility” to execute the plans considering “priority”, but we don’t see something like that. For example, to ease the persistent severe traffic gridlock in the capital, the government has initiated flyovers and elevated expressways while plans to construct a metro rail route. But the thing is, as a citizen, I feel the roads would have been widened first and the number of public transports be increased. But the existing plan will help the rich people run their private cars faster. Then what about the majority of the people living in Dhaka? Why is this disparity still present in a poor country with immense possibility? It must end.

If the government — since its head speaks of people’s rights and welfare — engages all parties in the government mechanism, other than doing all the jobs unilaterally, the main task is complete easily. If the people are asked to cooperate with labour and funds they would certainly come forward as people of Bangladesh are friendly and hate autocracy.

Now it needs austerity among the government components who will stop taking bribes and engage themselves more in the development activities for a few years until the country moves ahead to a satisfactory level when almost all the people will be able to smile out of happiness being “Bangladeshi”.


1 Comment

  1. Eminent economist Prof Rehman Sobhan, also CPD chairman, on Friday said, “We will need to invest in upgrading the skills and productivity of our farmers, artisans, our rural industries, our garment workers. We will need to give the deprived majority an investment state and price regime, which enables them to capture more of the gains from their labours and improved productivity.”

    He stressed the need for democratisation of the economic opportunities by providing resources to the deprived for acquiring productive assets like land, water, and technology — so they may compete more equitably in the market place.


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