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The poor should not be forgotten

  • Published at 07:20 pm May 14th, 2020

There is no doubt that our economy will have to cope with this new state of affairs

During the coronavirus pandemic, maintaining social distance while also ensuring that the lockdown is respected by the people of this country is absolutely essential so that we do not have a catastrophe on our hands in the future.

Bangladesh currently has almost 18,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus of whom at least 269 people have died -- a number that has continued to increase significantly on a daily basis.

Considering the aforementioned facts, on top of the fact that our testing rate only highlights part of the picture, with the number of cases in the rest of the country unrepresented, the government’s incentive packages -- which allow organizations to keep running and the most vulnerable amongst our society to remain effectively in lock down -- are an essential boon.

Most recently, the prime minister unveiled the government’s 18th incentive package thus far -- this one will provide much-needed help to four organizations, Palli Sanchay Bank, Probashi Kallyan Bank, Karmasangsthan Bank, and Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation -- taking the total amount of these packages to over Tk100,000 crore.

This particular package is especially important considering the fact that these organizations deal with the poor and others in need, and will go a long way towards ensuring that they continue to provide the aid required.

These incentives hint at the challenging times that we are facing currently, but also at the government’s willingness to come to the help of the people.

And there will be other challenging times ahead. With the government having already disbursed incentives worth 3.6% of the GDP, there is no doubt that our economy will have to cope with this new state of affairs.

But as long as we realize that we are in this together, prioritizing the cooperation and coordination, while having a zero-tolerance policy for corruption regarding these stimulus packages, Bangladesh can bear any storm.