More than one crore people have migrated from urban to rural areas in the country for loss of work and income during the peak of Covid pandemic and 50 per cent of them would not return, said economist Abul Barkat on Wednesday.
He said that the number of new types of poverty had increased and marginal, lower middle income groups had been struggling with this type of poverty while the income of the upper-middle-income group had risen despite the pandemic situation.
He was addressing a press conference on the 21st Biennial Conference-2021 of Bangladesh Economic Association at BEA office in Dhaka.
Professor Barkat, also president of BEA, said that the BEA survey and research found that more than one crore people migrated from urban to village areas losing their survival capital of business or jobs, of which 50 per cent would not go back to the big cities again.
He said that there were 6.82 crore workforce in the country of whom 85 per cent were working in informal sector or self-employed and they were hardest-hit by adverse impact of Covid pandemic.
He suggested Tk 2 to Tk 3 lakh were given per head to the self-employed people for starting their work or owning small business again to make the economy vibrant.
Criticising stimulus loan disbursement to the large industries, Professor Barkat said they were capable of surviving while mostly affected small sectors were deprived from stimulus for overlapping documents.
Many big companies have misused the stimulus loan and the small sector entrepreneurs are still rushing at banks for loans to survive. Such behaviour has widened discrimination in the society, he said.
He warned that different forms anarchy will emerge in the country due to widening discrimination and poverty.
The BEA conference is scheduled to be held on December 24-25 at the Institution of Engineers Bangladesh with the theme impact of Covid-19 and human development’.
Noted economist professor Rehman Sobhan, member of 1st planning commission, will inaugurate the conference as chief guest.
Mujib Gold Medal will be awarded in the conference to professor Abul Barkat for his extraordinary contribution to economic science.
General secretary of BEA Jamal Uddin Ahmed and AZM Saleh, joint convener of the conference committee, also spoke in the press conference.