Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Bangladesh’s Political Crisis Poses ‘High Risk’ to Fragile Economy | TOME


Experts attribute the current economic downfall to an oligarchy of political elites entrenched in Sheikh Hasina’s regime.

The Oligarchy’s Grip on Power

Sheikh Hasina, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, has been in power for over a decade. During her tenure, a small group of political elites has gained significant control over the country’s economy. This oligarchy has used its power and influence to further their own interests, leading to the current economic crisis.

Corruption and Cronyism

One of the main reasons for the economic downfall is rampant corruption and cronyism within the government. The oligarchy has been involved in various corrupt practices, including embezzlement of public funds, bribery, and nepotism. These corrupt practices have hindered economic growth and development, as resources meant for public welfare have been siphoned off by the elites.

Furthermore, the oligarchy has engaged in crony capitalism, favoring their own businesses and associates over others. This has created an uneven playing field, stifling competition and hindering entrepreneurship. As a result, small businesses have struggled to survive, leading to job losses and a decline in overall economic productivity.

Lack of Accountability

Another factor contributing to the economic downfall is the lack of accountability within Sheikh Hasina’s regime. The oligarchy has operated with impunity, knowing that they will not be held responsible for their actions. This lack of accountability has allowed corruption to thrive and has deterred foreign investment, as investors are wary of engaging in business in a corrupt environment.

The absence of checks and balances has also led to mismanagement of public resources. The oligarchy has been able to divert funds meant for infrastructure development and social welfare programs for their own benefit. This misallocation of resources has further exacerbated the economic crisis, as essential sectors such as healthcare and education have been neglected.

Impact on the Economy

The oligarchy’s grip on power and their corrupt practices have had a detrimental impact on the economy. The mismanagement of public funds has resulted in a lack of investment in critical sectors, such as infrastructure and education, which are crucial for long-term economic growth.

Additionally, the lack of a level playing field and the favoritism shown towards the oligarchy’s businesses have stifled competition and innovation. This has hindered the growth of the private sector and limited job opportunities for the general population.

Furthermore, the economic crisis has led to a decline in foreign direct investment (FDI). The lack of accountability and transparency within the government has deterred foreign investors from committing their resources to Bangladesh. This has further constrained economic growth and development.

Hope for Change

Despite the current economic challenges, there is hope for change. Civil society organizations, activists, and concerned citizens are raising their voices against the oligarchy’s grip on power. They are demanding transparency, accountability, and an end to corruption.

Furthermore, international pressure and scrutiny can also play a significant role in bringing about change. The international community must hold Sheikh Hasina’s regime accountable for its actions and push for reforms that promote good governance and economic development.

In conclusion, the current economic downfall in Bangladesh can be attributed to an oligarchy of political elites entrenched in Sheikh Hasina’s regime. Their corruption, cronyism, and lack of accountability have hindered economic growth and development. However, with increased awareness and pressure for change, there is hope for a brighter future for Bangladesh’s economy.

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