BANGLADESH passport has slipped five notches to the 100th position, as the Henley and Partners passport index shows. Bangladeshi passport bearers are sharing the position with Lebanon, Libya and South Sudan. They are having visa-free access to only 41 countries, according to the ranking. In 2017, Bangladesh was ranked 95th with access to 38 countries. Passports of France, Germany, and South Korea have secured the third position in the 2018 ranking with visa-free access to 188 countries. The index ranks all the passports of the world based on the number of countries that give them visa-free access.
Many countries are moving towards including biometric information in a microchip embedded in passports, making them machine-readable and difficult to counterfeit. A passport signifies a country’s image, credibility, economic health, the standards of its education and the mode of its development. The retrogression of the value of the Bangladesh passport, needless to say, speaks volumes of its economic health and the mode of its development. As for growth in economy, it can be said without any iota of doubt that Bangladesh’s economic growth will hardly lead to a wholesome development of the nation unless a system is developed for equitable distribution of national wealth among the masses. Since equitable distribution of national wealth still remains a far cry, economic disparity between the rich and the poor has sharply widened over the years. The low-income groups have not yet lifted themselves from their impoverished state and women still are in the dark about good health. Despite reduction in the overall rate of poverty in recent decades, there are acute problems of food insecurity. But the incumbents are content with propagating their belief that Bangladesh is flourishing in the development of all sectors. As their political rhetoric that they are in full control over every developmental sector sounds absurd and ludicrous, they should abstain from it.
Instead, the authorities need to ponder over what has gone wrong in their activities. To be precise, the ruling quarters must bring about a change in the policy, which needs to be based on egalitarian, democratic principles to enhance a healthy economic growth and, thus, to refurbish the image and credibility of the country. This could help in upgrading the value of Bangladesh passport as well.
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