In an interdependent world very few countries can remain in a cocoon of their own for a prolonged period. Perhaps there is no country in the world today which is totally free from some kind of external influences affecting their people, economy, culture, etc. But nevertheless, some influences are more significant than others. Among other things, the coronavirus has revealed the vulnerability of living in a globalised interconnected world. Thus, countries today are seeking to isolate themselves, as much as possible, by cutting off from other countries, for self-preservation.
Therefore, corona has taught us that policymakers of a country should ensure some degree of insulation from all detrimental external influences to protect the people and the macro economy of the country. That is the concept by which countries around the world are protecting their people from Covid-19 infection.So, if lockdown, border closure, isolation can be undertaken by countries to protect from an invisible virus infection, then why can’t we do it to prevent visible smugglings of fuel, drugs, illegal arms and much more for the welfare of the economy and the people?
If anything and everything that happens outside the country impacts a country’s internal policy-making, then the country’s policies will remain ever dependent on whatever happens in the influencer countries, which may not be conducive to progress and development of the nation. In fact, such dependency may increase over time, keeping the country extremely sensitive to external influences, which no country in the world would really relish.
We hear that due to the risk of fuel likely to be smuggled to neighbouring India where fuel prices are much higher than in Bangladesh, the government is now planning to ‘adjust’ petroleum fuel prices in the country! When someone claims that only the private vehicle owners will be affected due to any hike in petrol and octane prices, as if private car owners are not part of the country’s population, it is quite annoying. When we speak of becoming a developed country, don’t we mean that more and more of our people should become vehicle owners?
We hope that policy makers would seek alternatives to fuel price hike and try to strengthen the economy rather than keep it eternally sensitive and dependent on external negative influences which can be detrimental to the long term growth potential of the country’s economy.