Khurram Husain [Dawn (Pakistan)] says economist Mushfiq Mobarak and Zachary Barnett-Howell, in their paper “Poor Countries need to think twice” are valuing #Pakistani lives less than American lives because their paper uses VSL. Hussain states: “It begins by asking whether “shuttering … Continue reading Social Distancing in Poor Countries: A Debate
Brands Must Behave Fairly Syed Nasim Manzoor The second leading sector of Bangladesh’s exports is leather, footwear and leather goods. The largest markets for these products are Germany, Italy, France, Western Europe, USA and Japan. But under the influence of … Continue reading Nasim Manzoor: Western Brands Must Behave Fairly
Bangladesh has not seen this type of ferocious attack and killing of innocent people before. We express our deepest sympathy to the families of the victims, although no amount of consolation can soothe them. Our thoughts are also for the injured and terrified. Everyone in the country is feeling the anxiety and uncertainty. Continue reading “Holding the Economy to Ransom”
আরেকটি সর্বনাশা চুক্তি
আনু মুহাম্মদ for Alal O Dulal
দেশের ভবিষ্যৎকে বিপদাপন্ন করে আরেকটি সর্বনাশা চুক্তি করলো সরকার। যুক্তরাষ্ট্র, ভারত, চীন খুশি, কিন্তু বিপদাপন্ন বাংলাদেশ। গত ১৭ ফেব্রুয়ারি সংশোধিত ‘পিএসসি ২০১২’ অনুযায়ি সরকার ভারতের অয়েল এ্যান্ড ন্যাচারাল গ্যাস কর্পোরেশন (ওএনজিসি বিদেশ) এবং অয়েল ইন্ডিয়ার সাথে বঙ্গোপসাগরের এস এস ৪ ও এসএস ৯ নামে চিহ্নিত ২টি গ্যাসব্লকের চুক্তি সম্পাদন করেছে। Continue reading “আনু মুহাম্মদ: আরেকটি সর্বনাশা চুক্তি”
Bangladesh, the country and its economy, is full of contradictions. To list a couple, while it is one of the world’s fastest growing nations, it has pockets of extreme poverty and malnutrition in urban and rural areas. Another paradox: for the last two decades it has been ruled by two political parties, the Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, led by two head-strong leaders, who never can seem to agree on anything, but ran the gauntlet and survived many potentially dangerous threats, including religious fundamentalism, military takeovers, and internal revolt, to its fledgling democracy. Continue reading “The state of the Bangladesh economy”
By Nadine S Murshid and Awrup Sanyal for AlalODulal.org
“Economic growth cannot sensibly be treated as an end in itself. Development has to be more concerned with enhancing lives we lead and the freedoms we enjoy,” posits Amartya Sen in his book Development as Freedom (1999). Yet, Bangladesh has grown – developed at a decent rate of 6.7% over the last year – without enhancing the lives of workers, without the freedoms that Sen would like workers to enjoy, as exemplified, perhaps, by the recurrent protests by garment factory workers in Dhaka, protests that have a history of turning violent.
Just a year or so ago, the Indian economy was expected to be growing at a 8-9% pace, and people were talking about double digit growth into the 2020s. Within a year, growth has slowed to 4.4%, without there being any major shock —no financial crisis, no balance of payments crisis, no major natural disaster, nor any particular political tension. India just slowed, sharply. It’s now expected to grow only at around 4-5% a year, at least in the near term. Reflecting the slowdown, and the changed perception of India, the Indian rupee has taken a beating in recent weeks.
Dhaka has been once again deemed by the Economist as the second least livable city in the world. Damascus came in last only because of the civil war that is tearing the city apart. If the civil war were to stop today, Damascus would become imminently more livable than Dhaka tomorrow. Regardless of our opinion of the Economist or its survey, I don’t think any of us would disagree that living conditions of Dhaka are horrid and are in dire need of improvement. In this article I will try to suggest a few ways to improve Dhaka’s livability. However, before doing so let me say a few words in defense of Dhaka and about the dangers of drawing up schemes for improvement. Continue reading “Making Dhaka Livable”
The Road to Court 21
by Seema Amin for AlalODulal.org
“O bleating without wool! O Wound!” Lorca Prologue: the incidental messenger
‘Now you say the income of the Adamjis, Dauds and Isphanis have increased by 40 % and the income of the s have decreased by 5 %, then you make an average and you get Per Capita Income and you say Honey and Money and Milk is Flowing in the Economy. What happens to Coliuddin, Soliuddin and Rohiuddin?‘ Continue reading “The Road to Court 21”
“Cutting hills, building brick kilns or shrimp hatcheries by destroying agricultural land, and high rises by filling in water bodies, setting up business by filling up rivers, making furniture at the cost of forests and hills as well as the commodification of education and medical services, and the price hike of electricity and gas can all point to an increase in the growth of the GDP.” – Anu Muhammad
“’Second Home’: The Sahibs of Begam Para and the Turtles that Sell the Country” by Faruk Wasif for Prothom Alo, translated for AlalODulal.org by Nusrat Chowdhury [please do not reproduce w/o permission]
Who Will Bell the Cat? Guest Post by Fariha Sarawat
Much has been said about who’s to blame for the story state of garments workers’ rights, safety and working conditions in Bangladesh.
Some people, including some local manufacturers, would like us to buy in to the narrative of exploitative buyers whose predatory negotiations force our manufacturers to cut costs (because they are afraid they would lose the order otherwise to China or others) in order to stay competitive and that leaves the latter with little (once costs of inputs, overheads etc have been deducted) to pay to the workers. Continue reading “Fariha Sarawat: Buyers are also culpable”
Made in Bangladesh: The Terror of Capitalism
by VIJAY PRASHAD
“In the Atlantic world, meanwhile, self-absorption over the wars on terror and on the downturn in the economy prevent any genuine introspection over the mode of life that relies upon debt-fueled consumerism at the expense of workers in Dhaka. Those who died in the Rana building are victims not only of the malfeasance of the sub-contractors, but also of twenty-first century globalisation.”
While Our Eyes Are Elsewhere
by Anu Muhammad, Translated by Tibra Ali for AlalODulal.org
Despite putting people from all walks of life at risk, the recent violence and uncertainty in our country seem to have inconvenienced the local and foreign plunderers and invaders very little. On the contrary, in many instances because of the shifted attention it has even helped them. For many this time of uncertainty has been a blessing!
Why is father a servant? Why is Ananta a rickshawallah? An epic kechal about class status
বাবা কেন চাকর, অনন্ত কেন রিকশাওয়ালা ? আমাদের ক্লাস স্ট্যাটাস নিয়ে একটি বিষদ ক্যাচাল
by Zia Hassan
For almost two years I was thinking of writing about our class distribution. But I could not find time to write it. But recently when even a proper “bourgeois” like Ananta Jalil got slanged as “rickshawalla class” I thought the time had come to write the piece.
In the decade since 2002, the value of leather exports in Bangladesh has grown by an average of $41 million per year. From June 2011 to July 2012 Bangladesh exported around $663 million of leather and leather goods, including footwear. This leather is exported to some 70 countries throughout the world, but principally China, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Germany, Spain, and the United States.