Bangladesh hope to enter into middle income country by next year may be shattered for spread of coronavirus pandemic although the government projected a rise of 40 percent per capita income next FY.
“Bangladesh’s per capita Gross National Income (GNI) is likely to jump more than 40 percent to $2,670 (nominal) next fiscal year from $1,906 of the outgoing fiscal,” the provisional official figures estimated by the macroeconomic wing of the finance ministry.
The GNI means all income of a country’s residents and businesses including residents abroad while gross domestic product (GDP) takes into account domestic production only. The GNI per capita is highly associated with the quality of life of citizens.
But economists claimed that the economic disruption for Covid-19 may hamper the projected growth and progress in GNI. Almost 60 per cent Non Resident Bangladeshis became jobless and many of them are returning to Bangladesh.
According to the finance division of the ministry, the macroeconomic wing usually does such projection as it is one of the major criteria to obtain middle-income country status.
Asked how they can project such high per capita growth during Covid-19 outbreak, an official of finance division said the pandemic could not hit hard the country’s agriculture sector despite transportation disruption.
The country continues to express its aspiration to join the middle-income group by 2021 — the 50th anniversary of its independence, added the official.
Last April, the World Bank predicted that Bangladesh’s GDP growth would plunge to 2.0–3.0 percent in the 2019-20 fiscal year amid the declining garment exports, lower private investment growth and broader disruptions caused by the Covid-19 havoc.
Former finance adviser to a caretaker government Dr AB Mirza Azizul Islam said the projection of per capital growth next fiscal during the pandemic is unrealistic.
If the government shows a rosy picture to the world, it might create hindrance to accessing foreign funds, warned Mirza Azizul Islam.
The world’s Middle Income Countries (MICs) are a diverse group by size, population, and income level.
They are defined as lower middle-income economies — those with a GNI per capita between $1,006 and $3,955; and upper middle-income economies — those with a GNI per capita between $3,956 and $12,235 (2018), according to the World Bank.
Middle-income countries are home to 75 percent of the world’s population and 62 percent of the world’s poor. At the same time,