It has been hard to get away from the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic as the situation is getting worse day by day. The crisis concerns not only the world administrators but also that of Bangladesh as well.
If immediate steps are not taken the situation would be terrifying and will go out of bounds soon. So, appropriate and prompt actions are needed to combat this global crisis.
Hopefully, this pandemic will come to an end soon but the world will never be the same as before. People should understand that there are no barriers between rich and poor, powerful and helpless, black and white or of any religion and age because no one is immune to this deadly disease.
People should learn to be humble, generous and stop manipulating the market of basic needs. We all are already vulnerable; let's not add an extra scar to that wound. There is no bigger blessing than humanity. We should ensure human equality and thus turn our country into a land of equal rights as dreamt by the father of our nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The novel coronavirus is such an invisible enemy that we have to fight it as a whole. Besides individual consciousness regarding the disease, we cannot overlook the social and economic aspect of the situation.
The world economy is at stake due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many people have lost their jobs and earnings have decreased. This will increase the number of people living below the poverty line.
Being part of the global economy, Bangladesh will face similar effects of global economic recession. In the meantime, almost eight lakh immigrants have returned to Bangladesh. Many people have lost their jobs. The government must assess this situation. It is worth mentioning that there are almost 27 lakh unemployed people currently in Bangladesh.
The Covid-19 pandemic will aggravate this unemployment situation. The government needs to focus on how to create alternative employment opportunities. The garments and remittance sectors are going through hard times, and this could have a lasting effect on the economic recession in Bangladesh.
We want poverty to be eradicated from our family, society and country as a whole. At the same time, we hope that our country will not face an economic recession due to the pandemic. On a different note, it is also true that eradicating poverty without eliminating corruption is a false hope. Corruption is still everywhere, even during this pandemic.
Public representatives are stealing rice, oil and what not from the government relief. Almost 100 public representatives have been suspended for relief-related corruption. The number of false bills is limitless. We could not achieve the socio-economic goals that we expected despite having all the potential.
Eliminating this hindrance can open ways to reduce economic recession as well as poverty. And in the long run, we can reach the middle-income milestone, and even step towards the position of developed countries.
To rejuvenate the economy, keeping Covid-19 in consideration, it is important to keep the flow of money through to general people. One way to do this is to increase government investment in productive sectors so that more people can be employed, more people can earn. Priority-based investment in influential sectors is also important.
Focusing on other sectors by postponing the less important megaprojects can be one way. The most important thing to do right now is to employ more people. At the same time, the need for food and healthcare must be ensured for all levels of people.
In the current pandemic, most of the banks and economic institutions are going through a tough time. This will hinder the process of creating new entrepreneurs, and as a result, the government will face a challenge to create new employment opportunities for educated young graduates. This may pose a serious threat to social and economic stability, as a large number of educated people will remain unemployed.
Many large scale development works are currently at the final stage of completion. In this situation, it would not be wise to take away the financing of the projects, as it can create a long-lasting threat to our economy. So there is no alternative to keep endowing the projects even if it needs ration.
Investment is a must to protect the industrial sector. Additionally, increasing social security and village-based development process with government incentive in agriculture will become more important.
Raisul Uddin Saikat is the chairman of ALBION Group.