We have to think out a comprehensive, sustainable way of including everyone inside social safety nets.
Alongside maintaining the momentum and growth of our economy, another issue we need to focus on as the country graduates from its LDC status is keeping the economy sustainable.
The Gini coefficient for Bangladesh had been close to 40% in 2018, and with unsustainable levels of inflation.
The rising cost of prices that makes Dhaka one of the most expensive cities to live in, this percentage is surely much higher now.
As such, it is commendable that the government is focusing on better identifying and targeting beneficiaries for social safety nets.
Especially at a time when a large portion of the middle class is sinking towards the lower class and lower middle class.
The government will be using the National Household Database, a database developed by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics and the Department of Disaster Management.
But the data for the database was collected between 2017-18, and hence it is already outdated.
Programs like this also suffer from issues of corruption and needless bureaucratic red tape, as has been the fate of almost all programs in Bangladesh.
There have been talks of using mobile financial services to directly give cash to the beneficiaries, but even then.
It has to be properly figured out who is using these accounts under whose name, as digital literacy is still something that we are still struggling with.
All in all, we have to think out a comprehensive, sustainable way of including everyone inside social safety nets, and root out the corruption while we are at it.
The intentions of the authorities are commendable, but they have to be careful about the implementation.
A special task force has to be set up and their work has to be checked periodically.
There has to be a zero-tolerance policy for corruption, and people who engage in such heinous practices have to be brought to justice.
Bangladesh is growing in a steadfast way, but the growth is only real when everyone is included.