Over 10m urban people migrated to village due to pandemic

Over 10m urban people migrated to village due to pandemic: Professor Barkat


More than 10 million people have migrated from urban to rural areas in the country for loss of work and income during the peak of Covid-19 pandemic and 50 per cent of them would not return, said economist Abul Barkat on Wednesday, reports UNB.

He said the number of new types of poverty has increased and marginal, lower middle income groups have been struggling with this type of poverty while the income of the upper-middle-income group has risen despite the pandemic situation.

He was addressing a press conference on the 21st Biennial Conference-2021 of Bangladesh Economic Association (BEA) at its office in Eskaton Garden.

Professor Barkat, also president of BEA, said the BEA survey and research found that more than 10 million people migrated from urban to village areas losing their survival capital of business or jobs, of which 50 per cent would not go back to the big cities again.

He said there are 60.82 million workforce in the country of whom 85 per cent are working in informal sector or self-employed and they were hardest-hit by adverse impact of Covid-19 pandemic.

He suggested Tk 200,000 to Tk 300,000 is given per head to the self-employed people for starting their work or owning small business again to make the economy vibrant.

Criticizing stimulus loan disbursement to the large industries, professor Barkat said they are capable of surviving while mostly affected small sectors were deprived from stimulus for overlapping documents.

Many big companies have misused the stimulus loan and the small sector entrepreneurs are still rushing at banks for loans to survive. Such behaviour has widened discrimination in the society, he said.

He warned that different forms of anarchy will emerge in the country due to widening discrimination and poverty.

The BEA conference is scheduled to be held on 24-25 December at the Institution of Engineers Bangladesh with the theme “Impact of COVID-19 and human Development.’

Noted economist professor Rehman Sobhan, member of 1st planning commission, will inaugurate the conference as the chief guest.

‘Mujib Gold Medal’ will be awarded in the conference to professor Abul Barkat for his extraordinary contribution to economic science.

General secretary of BEA Jamal uddin Ahmed and AZM Saleh, joint convener of the conference committee also spoke in the press conference.

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