50 years of Independence, December 1970-2020: A comparison with Pakistan economy which once was ruling Bangladesh

50 years of Independence, December 1970-2020: A comparison with Pakistan economy which once was ruling Bangladesh

50 years of Independence: December 1970-2020.

A comparison with Pakistan economy which once was ruling Bangladesh

Bangladesh celebrates its 50 years of independence with a stable and progressive government in power and once a basket case has marched ahead of Pakistan in several indicators.

The IMF has indicated Bangladesh’s economy to be growing up to $322 billion by 2021. This data compiled by the IMF indicates the average Bangladeshi citizen is wealthier compared to that of Pakistan.

Since the revival of democracy in Bangladesh during the early 1990s, the developmental pace of Bangladesh surpassed that of Pakistan. Gross savings (% of GDP) of Bangladesh was 39.9 in 2012 and Pakistan was 20.4 in 2012 and 20.8 in 2013 respectively.

According to Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, Bangladesh is ahead in distinctive social indicators. The increasing level of investments in human capital has made Bangladeshi workers more productive. Bangladesh also outperforms Pakistan in social indicators due to the impressive performance delivered by NGOs. NGOs operate with minimal interference in Bangladesh and provide healthcare, schools, banks, dairy collectives, phone service, public health campaigns like ORS and immunization drives.

The wide reach of NGOs and substantial support by the international development aid has accelerated and complemented the government’s efforts to mitigate the gap of income inequality. As the NGOs offer a vast range of social services, they are not only confined to providing microcredit but other massive social programs.

It can also be anticipated that Bangladesh would transform to be the 26th largest economy from its current position of being the 42nd biggest economy. According to the Human Development Index (HDI) for the year 2017, Bangladesh is around 0.608. Pakistan’s HDI value for 2018 is 0.560, which puts the country in the medium human development category.

Pakistan suffered losses because of an income disparity of 25.6 percent. According to World Bank statistics, Bangladesh is one of the countries with a lower degree of income inequality

Since the 1971 Liberation War, Bangladesh has made substantial economic growth-oriented progress and has managed to perform well in the spectrums of social indicators in the spectrum of poverty, public healthcare and literacy. Until the early 1990s, it used to have an agriculture centric economy, which was highly dependent on the primary sector. In the past few decades, with the practice of democratic governance and increased accountability in the bureaucracy, it has made tremendous progress in sectors ranging from macroeconomic to social development, and all the tangible improvements have been reflected in the development indexes compiled and prepared by the World Bank.

It certainly cannot be denied that Bangladesh has succeeded to mark and establish itself as one of the significant track recorders of socio-economic development and sustainable growth. It has also crafted efficient public policies to empower women and reduce chronic diseases and has fared better in this regard than Pakistan. Bangladesh has come a long way since 1971 when the U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger disparagingly referred to it as a “bottomless basket”.

Bangladesh’s dependency on foreign aid has reduced remarkably from 88% in 1972 to just over 2 percent in 2010, and its current Purchasing Power Parity adjusted per-capita GDP is more than $4000. Since Pakistan’s formation in 1947, it has heavily relied on foreign aid, particularly from the US.

The government of Bangladesh most recently managed to establish the last structural span of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge. With this project, Bangladesh has shown the world the degree of self-reliance it can afford, and its capability to launch mega economic projects without full support from abroad.

This bridge will connect Dhaka, the capital, with 21 southern districts through road and railways– paving a new chapter in the county’s economic development.


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