Poverty declines at faster rate

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=180025

Poverty declines at faster rate
Rejaul Karim Byron

Poverty has declined at a faster 2 percent rate a year on average since 2005, according to the latest household expenditure survey by Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS). From 2000 to 2005, the poverty reduction rate was 1.78 percent.

The percentage of the population living under the poverty line came down to 30 in 2010 from 40 in 2005, said Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman yesterday, quoting government data, at a function organised by Dutch-Bangla Bank Ltd.

BBS officials said they have completed data compilation for the 2010 household expenditure survey and will be able to finish the preliminary report in the next two months.

High economic growth, increased inward remittance and the government’s larger safety net programmes helped cut the poverty rate, officials said.

From 2005-06 to 2009-10 onward, the GDP growth per year was more than 6 percent on average, which was more than 5 percent in the preceding five years.

In2005, inward remittance was only $3 billion, which grew to $10 billion over the years, most of which went to the poor families across the country.

The governments invested larger amounts of money in various safety net programmes. According to Bangladesh Economic Review (BER) the government spent about Tk 13,000 crore through budgetary allocation in fiscal 2009-10.

But economists express concern that the rich-poor gap widened although the poverty rate in percentage of population came down.

But a BB official said the new survey would show whether the rich-poor disparity narrowed.

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