Bangladesh becomes lower-middle income country

A World Bank report that measures income, has determined that Bangladesh has become middle income country despite 99% of the population living under the poverty line.

Bangladesh becomes lower-middle income country

World Bulletin / News Desk

 Bangladesh has risen to become a lower-middle income country according to the World Bank. 

In a statement released Wednesday, Bangladesh was listed as entering the category based on the  Gross National Income (GNI) per capita -- a measure of the average income, per person in the economy -- according to data reviewed annually by the World Bank.

The World Bank said Bangladesh, Kenya, Myanmar, and Tajikistan entered the income bracket of $1,046 to $4,125 per year. 

“While we need to measure development progress in different ways, income-based measures, such as GNI, remain the central yardstick for assessing economic performance,” said Kaushik Basu, World Bank Chief Economist and Senior Vice President. 

Bangladesh has hailed the development, with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina promising on Thursday that the country will quickly rise into the middle income bracket within three years, before it's 50th anniversary in 2021. 

"I can assure you it won't take until 2021, before that time we would be able to establish ourselves as a middle-income country," she said. "Bangladesh doesn't want to stay at the lower ladder… it wants climb to the peak and we'll do whatever is necessary for that."

According to World Bank data Bangladesh's economic output has increased at a strong rate of at least 6 percent over the past four years. 

Bangladeshi newspapers have also praised the success and said the country is already preparing to progress further by increasing the diversity and productivity of the economy through modernization. 

According to the daily Prothom Alo newspaper's Center for Policy Dialogue’s Executive Director Mustafizur Rahman, the new status reflected the country’s continuous economic development and could mean it is considered less of a risk for investment. 

But there is also concern among some that Bangladesh's development could become viewed in terms of income rather than the elimination of inequality and social problems. 

The Bangladesh Communist Party's General Secretary Mujahidul Islam Selim said Gross National Income per capita does not reflect the actual progress in preventing poverty because the wealth is mainly distributed among the very rich. 

"This method [of measuring economic growth] is not only wrong but also impractical. The truth is at least 99 percent of citizens are living under poverty," said Selim.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 02 Temmuz 2015, 17:11
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