Bangladesh – Model or Miracle?

News: Bangladesh got Independence in 1971. The then war-torn country referred to by many as basket-case, is now a developmental model for growth and human development.  

A basket-case is a country or organization that is in severe financial or economic difficulties, one that is unable to pay its debts.
In which areas, Bangladesh is doing better than India?

Bangladesh has a female labour force participation rate of 36% while India’s is at 21% (Pre-Taliban Afghanistan had a higher ratio of women to men working than India). 

For a detailed comparison of India -Bangladesh on socio-economic growth indicators, click here. 

Must Read: India-Bangladesh relations | Recent developments in India-Ban relations | Making of Shonar Bangla
What are the probable reasons for Bangladesh’s growth and development? 

Unitary government, without competition between federal and provincial governments. 

Outward orientation: An Openness to trade and investment which fuelled garment sector growth in the country. 

Policy continuity: Bangladesh has better macroeconomic indicators than India. Before Pandemic, India’s general government deficit was about twice Bangladesh’s. 

Currently, also, its debt-to-GDP ratio is just 38% while that of India’s is 90%. 

Involvement of NGOs and civil society: The areas where the government couldn’t provide the required services, were covered by active involvement of Civil society and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). This led to inclusion and development. 

Most of these factors have not been an explicit outcome of Bangladesh’s developmental policy but mere realities that the Nation came into existence with. However, India can still learn how Bangladesh has put to use its strengths and weaknesses to carve a niche development story of its own. 

Must Read: Lessons from Bangladesh’s growth story

Source: This post is based on the article “Bangladesh- Model or Miracle” published in Business standard on 19th Dec 2021. 

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