Balance in the bank accounts with more than Tk 1 crore in deposits has increased by 10.1 per cent or Tk 48,337 crore in the year 2019, reflecting a rapid increase in wealth accumulation by the country’s rich people.
According to a Bangladesh Bank data released in June this year, balance in such bank accounts has increased to Tk 5,26,997 crore at the end of December 2019, against Tk 4,78,660 crore a year ago.
Besides, the number of bank accounts with more than Tk 1 crore in deposit has increased by 11 per cent during last year.
The BB report showed that the number of such accounts increased to 83,839 as of December 31, 2019, against 75,563 in December 2018.
Considering the number of bank accounts in the banking sector, such accounts represent 0.079 per cent of the country’s 10.66 crore bank accounts.
Though it constitutes a tiny portion of the country’s total bank accounts, the deposits with such accounts were holding 43.39 per cent of deposits in the country’s banking system, Tk 12.14 lakh crore.
Economists said that such rise in high net-worth population indicate that the rich were becoming richer and the poor poorer, raising concerns over possible social grievance and deterioration in the law and order situation.
According to Bangladesh Bank data, the number of accounts with Tk 1 crore in deposit has increased more than three times or 64,203 in last eleven years.
The number of such accounts was 19,636 in March, 2009.
Since 2009, deposits in such banks accounts have increased by more than five times or Tk 4,47,131 crore from Tk 79,866 crore.
The number of such accounts was only five in 1972 and 47 in 1975.
The figure continued to grow and stood at 98 in 1980, 943 in 1990, 2,594 in 1996, 5,162 in 2001, 8,887 in 2006 and 19,163 at the end of 2008.
Former interim government adviser AB Mirza Azizul Islam told New Age that the economic growth might be a reason behind the growing number of rich people in the country since 2009.
‘Besides, inequality among the people is also on the rise mainly due to the higher wealth accumulation by the rich,’ Mirza Aziz said.
He also thinks that the government should mull how this growing economic inequality can be contained.
The economist, however, observed that such inequality rises at initial development phase of a country and the trend falls gradually afterwards.
When a tiny section of people occupying almost half of the cash in the country’s banking sector, another section of people were struggling hard to survive following the outbreak of coronavirus.
The average income of the urban slum dwellers and the rural poor has dropped by more than 80 per cent following the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, according to a joint survey of Power and Participation Research Centre and BRAC Institute of Governance and Development.
A total of 63 per cent of such population, including day labourers, bhangari workers, restaurant workers, maids, transport workers, agriculture labourers, construction and factory workers, petty businessmen, shop assistants and rickshaw pullers became economically inactive during the time, it said.
Some 40 per cent of poor population and 35 per cent vulnerable non-poor have already reduced their food consumption to cope with the situation, the survey found.
In Gini index, the current score of Bangladesh is 495, reflecting that the country’s rich people are becoming richer and the poor becoming poorer.
In Gini index, the 0 score represents perfect equality and 1 represents perfect inequality.
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