April 15, 2021


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The development of the middle class will put the lower class at risk

Madhubag Jhilpar area of ​​the capital to run a bicycle garage. Alam. He was seen in front of a closed garage at noon on Monday, standing with fear in his eyes. “I reopened the store after the lockdown last year,” he said. As soon as the business was frozen, the road was cut (roads were closed for many days due to drainage system reform). The road is just right again, in the meanwhile there is a lockdown again. ‘

Md. Went home during the general holiday last year. Alam. That’s why the store had to be closed for about three months. The landlord then waived one month’s rent in three months, the remaining two months’ rent, he said.

This time, however, the government did not use the word ‘lockdown’ or ‘general holiday’ in the notification. It has been said that all activities / movements to prevent coronavirus infection have been banned. But the pumpkin is the pumpkin. Because, the notification said, all types of public transport (road, rail, sea, domestic flight) will be closed for the next seven days. This prohibition will not apply to public transport engaged in production and service. It will also not apply to foreign and returning passengers. In addition, all government, semi-government, autonomous and private offices and courts will only do emergency work. They have to work with half the manpower. Shopping malls and shops will be closed. Factories and construction work will continue. Industrial workers have to be brought and taken under their own management. Field hospitals have to be set up for BGMEA and BKMEA workers.

The point is that 75 per cent of the workforce working in the informal sector is going to fall into disrepair again. Last year, during the long general holiday, the people who were working in the Dhaka metropolis in search of double food started crying and running around. It is feared that the same situation will happen again if the ban is prolonged. However, many feel that last year’s education was not used much when the restrictions were imposed.


Meanwhile, another image of the capital is the overflowing middle class crowd in various supershops and grocery stores, now known as panic buying or panic shopping. While there is no shortage of commodities in the market or there will be problems in getting commodities during restrictions, the mentality of the middle class to attack the market in this way is surprising. Because of them, commodity prices have already started rising. Last month, food inflation was already on the rise. This month it will increase another point. In this situation, the people who work hard will suffer again. The danger is right here.

In this context, economist Wahiduddin Mahmud wrote in a Facebook status on April 3, ‘It is said that some traders increase the price of goods“ unnecessarily ”as soon as Ramadan comes. If the price of goods could be increased unnecessarily, then at other times would they not please the buyers? Then they have to be praised. There is also an issue of market demand. It can be said that traders sometimes try to take advantage of demand unfairly. But because rich people can afford to buy as much as they want without looking at the price, it has not been shown to be very restrained. If they are restrained in their purchases, the chances of traders raising prices will be reduced and they will be able to share the food items in high demand against the limited supply. What good is a web site if it simply “blends in” with everything else out there?

Wahiduddin Mahmoud further writes, ‘In this case, it is necessary to remember a famous quote of Adam Smith, the father of economics, that traders never come together without the intention of conspiring against the buyers. Probably the minister has only this statement in mind (Obaidul Quader said in a press conference on April 3, a class of traders raises the price of goods as soon as Ramadan comes, which is a punishable crime.) But everyone has a responsibility to make the market economy more humane.

* Last year, during the long public holiday, people in Dhaka met with panic in search of food. * Just like India has Aadhaar card, it is also needed in Bangladesh, where poor people will have information. * Commodity prices are rising as middle class people shop more in panic. This will increase the suffering of the lower class.
One year experience

There is no alternative to restricting human movement to prevent coronavirus infection. But city shop and hotel employees, mechanics, rickshaw pullers, van drivers, traveling vegetable and fruit sellers কী what would this class of people eat if they didn’t leave their homes? In addition, if economic activity stagnates, the overall demand also decreases. Even after the lifting of the ban, its effect remains, as we have seen in last year’s experience.

The reality is that the majority of workers in the informal sector. Last year, these workers were also in more crisis during the general holidays. Then the government tried to deal with the situation by providing relief to them in various ways. But there have been reports of irregularities in the distribution of relief. However, if there is a list of poor and vulnerable people in the country, it is possible for the government to deal with such problems easily. Just like Aadhaar card is available in India, digital identification is also important in Bangladesh, where these people will have all the information. Unfortunately, this is not true.