Wednesday, 5 October, 2022

Number of rich and poor increasing in parallel

4,860 become multi-millionaires in 3 months

The number of millionaires and poor has been increasing in parallel amid widening income inequality, according to recent findings reported by Bangladesh Bank and several non-government organisations.

In a recent report, Bangladesh Bank informed that the number of bank accounts with more than Tk 10 million in deposit soared by 4,860 to 108,000 at the end of June from 103,000 in March in 2022 despite the challenging economic situation.

Those accounts hold 43 percent of country’s total deposit in banks.

The number of bank accounts holding above Tk 250 million in deposit rose to 4,118 in June in 2022 from 3,975 in March.

A report released by Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) said that the corona pandemic has created negative impact on the livelihoods of people while the number of jobless increased in last two years.

The percentage of poor increased to 35 percent, according to CPD.

Another research agency, South Asian Network of Economic Modelers (SANEM), reported that poverty rate was 20.5 percent of total population before the pandemic. The number increased to 42 percent after the pandemic.

The number of extreme poor has increased by three folds to 28.5 percent, SANEM said.

CPD Distinguished Fellow Mustafizur Rahman said the rise in the number of both rich and poor people reflects the income inequality and discrimination.

“The coronavirus pandemic led the economy to a collective disparity for us.

 Middle class and lower-middle have lived on their savings to cope with the hardship. But the riches became richer during the same time,” Dr Mustafizur told the Daily Sun.

The economists have suggested resource mobilization and public resource allocation alongside strengthening revenue collection and social safety net programme.

Policy Research Institute (PRI) Executive Director Ahsan H Mansur observed that the number of millionaire is much higher than the figure reported by the central bank.

“The number of accounts with Tk 10 million is not an issue for the economy. There are billions of taka are out of banking channel. Many people also invest in land, capital market or other savings tools. We should think about the big ones who siphoned the money off abroad,” Dr Mansur, also chairman of Brac Bank, said.

The former staff of International Monetary Fund also suggested easing the investment tools for the middle class.

The total number of bank accounts in the country stood at 129.5 million, with some Tk 15.73 trillion deposited in them as of June 2022.