Poverty rate lowers to 20.5pc in 2018-19 

Staff Correspondent | Published: 20:21, Dec 17,2019 | Updated: 02:32, Dec 18,2019


Incidence of poverty among the country’s population decreased to 20.5 per cent in 2018-19 fiscal year from 21.8 per cent of the previous year, said planning minister MA Mannan on Tuesday.

The minister was disclosing the update on poverty situation of the Bangladesh of Bureau of Statistics at a press briefing.

The bureau placed the update at a meeting of the executive committee of the National Economic Council chaired by prime minister Sheilkh Hasina at planning commission.      

The prime minister expressed her satisfaction with the falling rate of poverty, said Mannan.

Quoting the Bangladesh Bank’s calculation, he said that the rate of extreme poverty in the country also dropped to 10.5 per cent in the last fiscal year compared to 11.3 per cent in 2017-18.

He attributed to growth in gross domestic product and others initiatives by the government for reducing both the poverty and extreme poverty.

The GDP growth rate in 2018-19 was 8.15 per cent while the per capita income increased to $1,909 in the same year.

The World Bank in its latest publication titled ‘Bangladesh Poverty Assessment: Facing Old and New Frontiers in Poverty Reduction’ released in October 2019 said that robust economic growth continued driving poverty reduction, but at a slower rate.

While the pace of economic growth increased since 2010, the rate of poverty reduction declined, the report added.

Besides, the report also added that poverty had been reducing unevenly across the country since 2010 as the historical gap between the western and eastern re-emerged.

The World Bank and other think-tank including the Centre for Policy Dialogue quoting the Household Income and Expenditure Survey done in 2016 said that the rate of poverty reduction had slowed down in the country as it was 1.7 per cent annually up to 2005 and came down at 1.2 per cent annually in between 2010-2016.

MA Mannan narrated that the statistics bureau was using the Household Income and Expenditure Survey 2016 to update its key economic indicators like GDP, per capita income annually during the last several years.

He said that the rate of poverty was 48.9 per cent in 2000, 40 per cent in 2005, 31.5 per cent in 2010.

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