The Centre for Policy Dialogue or CPD has said that the gap between the rich and poor has widened despite the continued economic growth in the country.
It was presenting its report State of the Bangladesh Economy in FY2017-18 (First Reading) to the media at CIRDAP auditorium in Dhaka on Saturday.
The report, made under CPD’s Independent Review of Bangladesh’s Development or IRBD programme, says the share of income of the lowest 5 percent households dropped to 0.23 percent in 2016 from 0.78 percent in 2010.
In contrast, the income share of the top 5 percent the households went up to 27.89 percent in 2016 from 24.61 percent in 2010.
It means the income of the poor dropped while that of the rich rose.
“This is another indication of income concentration at the top which has also contributed to increasing income inequality,” it adds.
In 2005, the average household income of the poorest 5 percent families was Tk 1,109 per month but dropped to Tk 733 in 2016 while the 5 percent richest families’ average household income more than doubled from Tk 38,795 to Tk 88,941 in this period.
Bangladesh has been posting over 6 percent GDP growth for the past few years.
CPD Research Fellow Towfiqul Islam Khan said, “The outcome of the growth has not reached the marginal people. The poor are getting poorer, the rich are getting richer.”
CPD Distinguished Fellow Debapriya Bhattacharya blamed ‘the declining quality of the economic growth’ over the last five to six years for the disparity.
“There is a dark abyss behind the decent economic growth. And, it consists of the fewer-than-accepted rate of cutting unemployment and poverty. The inequality did not only increased regarding income and expenditure but also mostly in terms of assets,” Debapriya said.
The report also highlighted the crisis in the banking sector and the flood disasters of last year.
CPD Executive Director Fahmida Khatun and Distinguished Fellow Mustafizur Rahman were also present.