Bangladesh’s income per capita lags behind

Dhaka, June 11 (IANS) Bangladesh’s income per capita leaped to $923 in the outgoing 2012-13 fiscal year ending this month though remained far beyond reach with respect to the country’s goal of graduating to a middle-income status by 2021, officials said Tuesday.

Quoting provisional statistics, a state-run statistical bureau official told Xinhua that “per capita income in 2012-13 fiscal year (July 2012-June 2013) marked a rise by over 10 percent due mainly to hefty growth in inflow of remittance”.

The figure was $838 in the last 2011-12 fiscal year (July 2011-June 2012), said the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS).

A hefty growth in per capita income is very important for Bangladesh as the country aims at achieving the status of a middle-income country from that of a Least Developed Country (LDC) by 2021 to mark its 50th year of independence, according to government’s perspective plan.

Officials say Bangladesh will need a steady growth in inflow of remittances to turn its dream into reality.

Bangladsh Bank data showed the inflow of remittances by nearly 9 million non-resident Bangladeshis during the first 11 months of current fiscal year jumped nearly 10 percent to $13.4 billion, more than that the country received in the whole last fiscal year 2011-12.

Apart from robust growth in inflow of remittances, the BBS official said the farm sector growth, as a result of bumper rice production in the country, also contributed to the increase of per capita income.

Officials say the rise in per capita income demonstrates Bangladesh’s overall income significantly increased though the growth rate of GDP, or Gross Domestic Product growth, dipped in the outgoing fiscal year.

Bangladesh Finance Minister A.M.A. Muhith in his budget speech last week said BBS released the provisional estimate of GDP for fiscal year 2012-13 which is 6.03 percent.

The South Asian country of around 153 million people attained 6.2 percent growth in GDP in 2011-12 fiscal year against 6.71 percent in the previous 2010-11 fiscal year.

“We have re-fixed the real economic growth target at 7.2 percent for FY 2013-14,” Muhith said.

Bangladesh needs to accelerate GDP growth to 7.5-8 percent and sustain 8 percent remittance growth to reach Middle Income Country Status by next decade, says a World Bank report launched in November last year.

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