Wednesday, October 21st, 2020
EDITORIAL: Why the debate over GDP?
October 21st, 2020 at 11:01 pm
Let us acknowledge that both the friendly neighbours are not doing bad on the economic front compared to many other countries, which is a joy for the people of both Bangladesh and India.
EDITORIAL: Why the debate over GDP?

 The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) latest report on Bangladesh doing better than neighbouring India on the economic front has triggered a debate in both the countries. But, why this debate?

Rahul Gandhi, the Indian Congress leader, has used the GDP factor to attack his main rival Prime Minister Narendra Modi blaming him for the poor show against Bangladesh, while experts there have binned it altogether.

In Bangladesh, the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party remained silent as it fails to appreciate anything good Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina does, while her government celebrated its major achievement. Some experts rebuked their Indian counterparts for looking down on Bangladesh by their comments and reasoning to back them against the IMF report.

In the middle of the debate, a number of experts put up three theories — GDP does not correctly indicate a country’s true economic condition, COVID-19 made the world suffe with every country having its uniqueness and India will soon overtake Bangladesh.

Some of the Indian media outlets tried to “belittle” Bangladesh by putting up number of issues including political unrest, which is not true for now, and graft, which exists even in the developed world.

Thus, the debate raging in the two South Asian capitals over GDP in fact raises many questions, particularly why we cannot appreciate each other for achieving a feat amid the COVID-19 crisis or no crisis? Why it has to be politicised?

The World Economic Outlook by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released this month has projected that in 2020 per capita GDP of Bangladesh will be USD 1,887.97 at current prices, while India will have a per capita GDP of USD 1,877 in 2020.

It also indicated that in 2021 India will see a rise of its per capita GDP by 8.8 percent while Bangladesh will see an increase of 4.4 percent. As a result, in 2021 India’s per capita GDP will reach USD 2,030 and Bangladesh’s USD 1,990. IMF’s projection till 2025 indicates that in 2024 India will surpass Bangladesh and in 2025 Bangladesh will be ahead of India in terms of per capita GDP.

Let us acknowledge that both the friendly neighbours are not doing bad on the economic front compared to many other countries, which is a joy for the people of both Bangladesh and India.

Let us learn to appreciate our achievements and learn from each other.