Bangladesh has been ranked 113th among 158 countries in the Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index (CRI)-2020, putting the country in a position of a low performer in efforts of reducing inequality despite significant economic growth, according to a latest global report.
The country lagged behind Maldives, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Nepal in the South Asian region in terms of taking decisive actions in introducing policies to fight rising inequality, the report titled ‘Fighting Inequality in the Time of COVID-19’ said.
Bangladesh, however, did better than India, Pakistan and Bhutan in the ranking.
Oxfam and Development Finance International (DFI) jointly released the report on Thursday.
‘Bangladesh has made some strides to improve social indicators but has not taken decisive actions in introducing policies to fight rising inequality,’ the report said.
However, some progressive measures were introduced during COVID response, including spending $11m on bonus payments to health workers and adding 24 million people to its social protection schemes, it said.
In previous CRI-2018, Bangladesh’s ranking was 148th, among 157 countries.
But the organisations, however, said that the direct comparison of the overall rankings was not possible as the latest CRI went through a series of methodological improvements since 2018.
The country is also one of the least performers in public services ranking with 142nd position, 16th from the bottom of the list, because its’ spending and services for the poor are very low.
Bangladesh has been placed at 109th position in labour ranking. It, however, has been ranked in the bottom 10 countries on labour and union rights at 148th position out of 158 countries. It is near the bottom of labour rights and minimum wage indicator.
In tax ranking, Bangladesh was put at 32nd out of 158 countries in CRI, mainly due to its statutory corporate tax rate 35 per cent.
It does well on paper versus an actual collection of tax revenue and lower tax revenue mobilisation creates fiscal constraints and leads to mounting public debt, said the report.
Globally, Norway topped the ranking of the most committed countries followed by Denmark and Germany while South Sudan secured the last position in the least committed countries.
In South Asia, Maldives has been ranked first in the region with global ranking at 72nd position followed by Sri Lanka (94th), Afghanistan (102nd), Nepal (112th), Pakistan (128th) and India (129th). Bhutan has been ranked at 146th position.
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