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Paradox of higher growth

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28th-May-2016       
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AS per media report the economy of Bangladesh is now estimated to exceed 7 percent growth rate but despite this phenomenal growth, job creation in the economy remained at low causing the number of unemployed people to grow. Thus higher economic growth and slow down in job creation appear to be highly paradoxical raising basic question on the quality of such growth. When the country's economic growth was 6 percent, employment generation was exponentially growing, but since 2013 why it is falling is quite misleading. The Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) made the issue public at a pre-budget press briefing blaming much of public budgetary resources going to unproductive expenditure like paying huge salary to public servants. As a result public expenditure to productive sector is going less to create enough jobs. Moreover since private investments remained sluggish because of high interest rate and political risk, job creation in the private sector has also lost steam. So when the government estimates growth rate in terms of budgetary expenditure, it is jumping but as less money is going to manufacturing and other productive expenditures, mills and new factories are growing less to cause the slow down in job market.According to Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, the number of jobs rose impressively during 2002-2013, by 13.6 lakh per year. But the number appears to have fallen to only three lakh a year since 2013. So, can we take that the GDP growth does not ensure enough job creation to benefit the greater section of the society. This inverse relationship between growth rate and job creation is not acceptable to the nation. It is also surprising that the economy is expected to get rid of the 6 percent growth trap to go above at a time when private investment declines as percentage of gross domestic product and tax collection remains low. The government should realize the dubious scenarios of the economy and must pay more attention to raising private investment to create more jobs through budgetary measures in the coming fiscal year. Boost in private investment may help create meaningful job creation for the unemployed people of the country.Government should forget the buzzword of 7 percent GDP growth. Because only high growth is not enough; its quality and bringing benefits to people by way of more jobs are other income generation activity important to attain. What is worrying is that authority concerned has no glaring attention about quality of growth except tall claims of impressive developments. In our view higher growth rate is not enough, it must be visible in the ground.

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