Brand

InM News

July 10, 2020

Monetary policy geared to post-pandemic financial stability

FE Today Logo

 

 

Mustafa K. Mujeri |  July 10, 2020 00:00:00


Within a period of less than four months of the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic in Bangladesh, the economy has seriously been affected by a sharp decline in external demand, shocks in supply due to disruptions in global and domestic value chains, impact of lockdown and large scale job losses on domestic demand, stress on consumer and business environments, and deepening inequality and high incidence of economic and social uncertainties. So far, the impact has been all-encompassing and unprecedented, but its degree is still uncertain since the intensity of the pandemic is yet to be fully felt in the country.

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is felt not just by the national economy, but by the household economy of millions of Bangladeshis, especially the low income ones. Daily wage earners and informal workers have already been badly hit; many have nothing to live on now and are unable to buy adequate food for their families. Hunger, malnutrition, and other problems that have always plagued Bangladesh in the past are poised to intensify as a result of the pandemic.

The economic impact has mainly been felt through three major channels: (i) sharp decline in domestic economic activity after the shutdown announced on March 26, 2020 which is now gradually being lifted; (ii) unprecedented decline in exports of RMGs, which represent more than 80.0 per cent of Bangladesh’s exports; and (iii) rapid fall (from US$ 1.64 billion in January 2020 to USD 1.09 billion in April2020) in remittances from Bangladeshis working mostly in the Middle East who are affected not by the pandemic alone but also by the decline in oil prices.

Within a few weeks of the outbreak of Covid-19, Bangladesh instituted stringent measures to limit its spread through imposing a national lockdown in which air, bus, and train travel was suspended. As a result of these measures and Covid-19 related impacts, supply chains especially of essential commodities were disrupted and access to food staples became limited. Meanwhile, Bangladesh is still under limited lockdown and has launched the largest social welfare efforts in its history.

The government reacted promptly and allocated about US$29.0 million to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to fund the Covid-19 preparedness and response plan. To start with, a stimulus package of $588.0 million for export-oriented industries was announced. So far, the government has announced a total of 19 stimulus packages amounting to Tk 1,031.17 billion (3.70 per cent of GDP) to support the country’s economic recovery.

It appears that if recovery is fast (the so-called V-shaped recovery), economic activities may start to rebound by the end of 2020. However, the critical factor is the recovery of the domestic economy in all its dimensions which is still shrouded in many uncertainties with regard to both timing and the precision of the recovery’s speed or the extent.

Against this background, the country’s monetary policy needs to target the recovery of the economy from the disaster of Covid-19 and rehabilitation of the production capacity of the economy as its major goals along with restoration of the livelihoods of the people especially of the vulnerable groups who are the most severely affected by the pandemic.

We must also recognise that empirical evidence shows that the relationship between the monetary policy aggregates (e.g. money supply) and inflation (price level) is becoming increasingly ineffective in Bangladesh so that price stability as the dominant strategic target of Bangladesh Bank’s monetary policy is losing its credibility and guidance. The impact of money supply on inflation is becoming increasingly non-linear and asymmetric with long and variable lags; while globalisation, technological change and frequent supply shocks cause structural changes in the behaviour of inflation. This will probably be more so during Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath in Bangladesh. As such, Bangladesh needs to explicitly consider these changes and formulate the monetary policy accordingly.

KEY ASPECTS OF TWO-PHASED MONETARY POLICY: The key consideration for the country’s monetary policy would be to adopt a medium to long term anti-Covid-19 strategy that goes beyond the already adopted one-shot policy measures by the Bangladesh Bank (e.g. changes in CRR; changes in interest rate on loans provided by Bangladesh Bank to scheduled banks and financial institutions under REPO facility; changes in ADR and IDR; new refinancing facilities with low interest rates to facilitate the implementation of incentive packages and support important sectors like agriculture, export-oriented industries and CMSMEs; etc.) to overcome the adverse effects of Covid-19 on the Bangladesh economy.

The strategy, moreover, should take note of past lessons, avoid past mistakes, minimise risks to financial instability, and facilitate the rapid movement to a ‘new normalcy’ through fixing the Covid-19 damages. Obviously, the focus should be on Covid-19 crisis management.

The above monetary policy strategy could be implemented within a phased approach. For the initial period (e.g. next six months), efforts could be devoted more towards further strengthening and consolidating (and adopting new measures as necessary for deeply affected sectors/enterprises)the immediate measures taken by Bangladesh Bank for meeting the Covid-19 shock; while starting to implement the medium to long term measures of the second phase adopting right sequencing.

In both phases, the anti-COVID-19 monetary policies should take into account the main reasons behind adopting the monetary strategies to address the challenges. The reasons could be multiple, but preparing a comprehensive list could help prioritise the policies and identify their short and medium term implications and synergies. One key aspect would be to introduce a system of regular monitoring to conduct strategic reviews and redesign the policy framework based on changing realities.

The main task of the monetary policy, especially during the next six months, will be to ensure adequate liquidity in the economy; which has been affected by a sudden and unexpected supply shock – large-scale disruption in all production sectors caused by health precautions and lockdown. This has also triggered a severe demand shock which has interrupted cash flows and the payments system. In order to revive the enterprises and restore employment, Bangladesh Bank should further push the commercial banks to especially lend to the enterprises where the cash-flow process is more disrupted.

This would require, for the Bangladesh Bank, to provide the framework of monetary measures, including interest rate incentives for the banks, to further expand the credit support especially to the CMSMEs. There should also be coordination with prudential measures and fiscal policy decisions. Special provision should be made on prudential ground regarding the treatment of bad loans that is probably inevitable (to a certain extent)in the case of these loans. Fiscal policy support should also be soughtfrom the government to guarantee a part of these loans. Bangladesh Bank should also be prepared to undertake purchases of bonds and commercial papers as necessary to ensure liquidity in the financial market needed for controlling COVID-19 consequences and avoiding financial meltdown.

Moreover, Bangladesh Bank should remain aware that wrong and/or inadequate action during this period would lengthen/deepen the short term crisis, trigger/escalate the crisis, and make the follow-up phase of recovery more complex and difficult. The Covid-19 shock has not only affected the already bad health of the financial (including the banking) sector of the country but also all aspects of the real and other sectors of the economy. The risk of a disastrous outcome from the combined impact of this all-encompassing crisis is therefore real; moreover, Bangladesh also faces a more unfavourable global economy with disrupted trade and capital flows.

At the end of the first phase, the expectation is that the health crisis of the pandemic will be substantially controlled; production and trade will start to resume normal speed; and the financial sector will come to terms, at least partially, with the deep scars of the crisis. However, the serious wounds will continue to persist in both the real and financial sector of the economy-high uncertainties will continue to affect investments (particularly private investment); aggregate consumption will remain depressed due to loss in employment/income; and overall economic activities and growth prospects will remain below their normal trajectories.

The medium and longer term measures will sequentially start, depending on the realities in the second half of the time frame, to cure the wounds, ensure sustained recovery, and re-launch normal economic activities and growth. As expected, some measures may be long term in nature and may have to be extended to a longer time horizon. One key aspect of these policies will be to ensure a close coordination between monetary and fiscal policies where fiscal policies will play the lead role while monetary policy will take the supportive role. Bangladesh Bank will have to ensure the coordination with fiscal authorities and provide technical and financial support as feasible to policy implementation. Relying on monetary expansion alone to fix the problems would more likely to be ineffective and unsustainable. Excessive money and credit supply along with fiscal expansion and the continuing negative supply shocks from Covid-19 could fuel inflationary pressures.

The fiscal policies of the medium phase would have to cover both redistributive measures and increased public expenditures, transfers and tax reliefs for individuals/enterprises which are more likely to be debt-financed. However, one must also realise that the quality of the fiscal measures and their implementation is probably more important than their size. The resulting increase in public debt would partly substitute unsustainable private debts helping enterprises and households to regenerate their capital destroyed by Covid-19 and its economic impacts.

The role of the monetary policy will be to effectively structure the newly accumulated public debt, monitor the liquidity situation of the banks, keep the interest rates low, and address any destructive speculative developments and contain interest rate spreads within limits. This is necessary to avoid any undesirable changes in risk premium that would limit the financial sector’s efficiency in resource allocation. A major concern of the monetary policy framework should be to ensure financial stability and its sustainability especially in the post-Covid-19 period when there will be rapid increases in public debt and widespread restructuring of private enterprises and their financial portfolio.

For the external sector, the policies should favour stable exchange rates. The policies should recognise that, although Covid-19 shocks may be similar, their economic consequences have been highly asymmetric across countries in terms of timing, nature of socioeconomic impact, reactions and combating strategy for health and economic impacts, and, above all, their financial and structural weaknesses and capacities to combat the crisis. Moreover, global spill over effects will continue for long creating differential effects on individual countries including Bangladesh.

For Bangladesh, monetary and prudential policies will have to act together where the main preoccupation will be restoring normalcy in the economy without jeopardising financial stability. The policies should also remain cautious of the fact that the degree of indebtedness of the economy will significantly increase as a result of the policies for addressing Covid-19 challenges. Financial fragilities may gradually emerge as a dominant theme in the financial sector. Bangladesh Bank should therefore adopt a work plan and announce the framework well in advance in coordination with fiscal and other macro policies. This will help anchor expectations and reassure all stakeholders on the existence of a coordinating procedure to cope with the Covid-19 crisis. In the post-Covid period, the Bangladesh Bank should consider widening the mandate of monetary policy to cover macro-financial stability, not price stability alone, along with economic growth.

A key concern would be to act quickly and decisively to provide liquidity to prevent financial instability from leading to further deterioration of the real economy. Along with this, for ensuring long-run growth necessary to restore economic well-being, Bangladesh Bank would have to adapt to new realities for using financial markets to ensure required liquidity, not through manipulating interest rates to finance government deficit and providing cheap credit to CMSMEs and other priority activities.

For the medium term, Bangladesh Bank should also step up providing credit for green investment and employment stimulus, as the lockdown measures are gradually relaxed and withdrawn. What matters most is the enhanced role of monetary policy to create employment and reconnect the supply chains and assist in the transition to higher growth and sustainability.

Dr Mustafa K. Mujeri is Executive Director, Institute for Inclusive Finance and Development (InM).

mujeri48@gmail.com

 

 

April 18, 2020

Covid-19 pandemic in Bangladesh: Are we the next Italy?

Published at 04:48 pm April 18th, 2020

 Farah Muneer and Abdul Monem Khan

After week 6, Italy had an average cumulative death rate of 6.29%, compared to 6.70% in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is crossing its 6th week of the coronavirus pandemic and things have dramatically changed since the first month. 

Observing the world trend it was quite expected that the infection rate would go up exponentially at some point of time and coping up with it would be a great challenge for a country like Bangladesh. Even though the country is currently under lockdown along with complete movement restriction after 6pm, the infection rate as a percentage of total tested has gone up almost three times higher since the 4th week. 

 

Fig 1: Average Cumulative Death Rate, Week 1-Week 6, shown in percentage of the infected population

Fig 2: Recovery rate as of Week 6, shown in percentage of the infected population

Source: Data from Bangladesh Directorate of Health Service and  Worldometer

As of April 17, 2020 the infection rate as a percentage of total tests conducted is around 9.58%. Furthermore, Bangladesh has been observing higher death count than recovery count for the past four days. The number of tests conducted is still very low compared to the other countries, probably the lowest if some Sub-Saharan African countries are not taken into account. On an average only 117 people in a million are tested for Covid-19 in Bangladesh. On the other hand, in India the figure is more than double. In Pakistan it is 383 in 1 million. So, how is Bangladesh performing compared to other countries?

The first figure compared the average cumulative death rate of Bangladesh with some of the most infected countries and some of our neighbouring countries from week 1 to week 6 of the corona pandemic.

In Bangladesh for every one hundred Covid-19 infected persons, the average cumulative death rate is 6.70% as per the latest data, which is very alarming. It is important to observe that after week 6, Italy had an average cumulative death rate of 6.29%, which implies that Bangladesh has surpassed Italy. 

Italy has just got past its 8th week of the pandemic and is currently experiencing the highest death rate  — 13.12 in every 100 infected persons — which means the coming weeks can be the most crucial for Bangladesh. 

It is also important to note that the neighbouring countries are doing much better than Bangladesh. What is surprising is that India and Pakistan, on week 6 had an average death rate of less than 1%. The second figure shows the recovery rate as of week 6 of the pandemic. In terms of recovery rate, Bangladesh has yet to go a long way when compared to India and Pakistan or even with Italy. 

The recovery incidence in Bangladesh is around 3 in every 100 infected persons. Even though the situation is better than that of the United Kingdom and the United States, it is far below than the world average which is around 25% as of April 17.

The figures above indicate quite an alarming scenario ahead for Bangladesh. It seems that Bangladesh might face very high death rates in the coming weeks like Italy if proper intervention is not initiated. Coupled with a high death rate, Bangladesh might experience one of the lowest recovery rates in the world if the current trend continues, which makes the scenario even worse than Italy. 

It is, therefore, high time to make some policy changes to combat this pandemic in Bangladesh. As the healthcare system of Bangladesh is yet to cope with the challenges of the outbreak, it seems defensive strategy is the best solution for Bangladesh to control the Covid-19 incidences. 

Italy has already spent more than a month of strict lockdown and decided to extend it till May 3 with some exceptions with regards to businesses such as timber companies, bookshops and stores selling children’s supplies. 

India has also extended the lockdown till May 3. It took China nearly two months to come out of lockdown. These examples indicate the importance of lockdown only to ‘flatten the curve’ so that the country can strengthen its capacity, especially the healthcare sector to fight the Covid-19 war.

Comparing the lockdown status with other countries, Bangladesh should extend the strict lockdown at least for a few more weeks after April 25. The decision to reopen the garment factories could be catastrophic in terms of spreading the outbreak. While this lockdown is affecting the livelihood of millions of peoples, considering the current status of healthcare facilities and the lack of training of healthcare professionals, Bangladesh may need to trade off its economic health by prioritising its public health in order to avoid a catastrophe. 

This might be expensive but it is the best solution the country might go for to fight the pandemic. The prime minister has already declared a Tk100,000cr stimulus package to recover from the economic cost of the lockdown. While implementing an effective lockdown, the government should also focus on distributing the stimulus package to the right people in an efficient manner.  

If these two measures – effective lockdown and proper distribution of the stimulus package is implemented properly, Bangladesh may be able to flatten what is now a rising curve and increase its economic resilience while fighting the battle against Covid-19. 

Farah Muneer is Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Inclusive Finance and Development (InM).

Abdul Monem Khan is Senior Legal Counsel with a multinational company.

 

 

March 3, 2020

Programme Organised to Mark the Achievement of Dr. Jahangir Alam Khan

A programme was held to mark the achievement of the honourable member of InM Governing and General Body- Dr.  Jahangir Alam Khan, for receiving ’Ekushe Padak’ at PKSF building on 3 March 2020.  The programme was chaired by Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, InM with Dr. Mustafa K Mujeri, Executive Director, InM; Mr Mohammad Moinuddin Abdullah, Managing Director, PKSF; other Governing and General Body members of InM; Deputy Managing Directors of PKSF and InM senior officials as attendees.  The honourable members and other audiences gave their speech in honour of Dr Jahangir Alam Khan. Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, InM and Dr Mustafa K Mujeri, Executive Director, InM honoured Dr Khan with uttoriya and flower Bouquet.  

 

 

 

February 27, 2020

অন্তর্ভুক্তি কৃষি খাতে রূপান্তর ও আমাদের ভাবনা

ফেব্রুয়ারি ২৭, ২০২০

 

নিম্নমধ্যম আয়ের দেশ থেকে উচ্চ আয়ের দেশে পৌঁছতে হলে আমাদের কৃষিখাদ্য খাতে একটা বড় পরিবর্তন প্রয়োজন। আর কৃষিখাদ্য খাতে পরিবর্তন মানে শুধু খাদ্যের পর্যাপ্ততা ও নিরাপত্তা নিশ্চিতকরণ নয়, সেই সঙ্গে খাদ্যের গুণগত মানও সুরক্ষা করা। বর্তমানে প্রায় সাড়ে ১৬ কোটি জনগণের খাদ্য উৎপাদনের জন্য ব্যবহূত জমির পরিমাণ প্রায় ১ দশমিক ৮ কোটি একর এবং মাথাপিছু আবাদি জমির পরিমাণ শূন্য দশমিক ১৪ একর। এখন থেকে আগামী ২১ বছরের মধ্যে বাংলাদেশের লোকসংখ্যা প্রায় ২০ কোটির কাছাকাছি পৌঁছবে, যেখানে চাষযোগ্য জমির পরিমাণ বাড়ানো সম্ভব নয়; বরং অকৃষি কাজে জমি ব্যবহার অনেকটাই বাড়বে, ফলে কৃষিজমির পরিমাণ আরো কমে আসবে। ফলে এই বাড়তি চাপ বহন করার জন্য আমরা কতটা প্রস্তুত, সেটা নিয়ে ভাবার সময় এসেছে। ২০৪১ সালের মধ্যে উচ্চমধ্যম আয়ের দেশের কাতারে পৌঁছতে হলে কৃষিখাদ্য খাতের উন্নয়ন দর্শনটা কী হবে, সেটাই এখন আমাদের ঠিক করতে হবে। ভিশন হতে হবে ‘এমন একটি অন্তর্ভুক্তিমূলক কৃষি খাত প্রতিষ্ঠা করা, যা কিনা নিরাপদ, লাভজনক ও টেকসই কৃষিখাদ্য ব্যবস্থার পাশাপাশি পুষ্টিকর খাদ্যের সরবরাহ নিশ্চিত করে এবং একই সঙ্গে গ্রামীণ অর্থনীতির সঙ্গে প্রয়োজনীয় সংযোগ রক্ষা করে একটি উচ্চ আয়ের বাংলাদেশ প্রতিষ্ঠায় সহায়ক হয়। ২০৪১ সালের লক্ষ্যমাত্রা পূরণে কিছু উল্লেখযোগ্য সূচক হলো, মধ্যমাত্রার দারিদ্র্য ৫ শতাংশের নিচে এবং অতিদরিদ্রের হার শূন্যে নেমে আসতে হবে; ২০৩০ সালের মধ্যে আমাদের উচ্চমধ্যম আয়ের দেশে এবং ২০৪১-এ উচ্চ আয়ের দেশে পৌঁছতে হবে; বাংলাদেশকে এমনভাবে গড়ে তুলতে হবে, যেখানে জলবায়ু পরিবর্তন এবং অন্যান্য পরিবেশগত চ্যালেঞ্জের বিরুদ্ধে সক্রিয় ভূমিকা রাখা যায়, একই সঙ্গে কৃষিপণ্যের উৎপাদনশীলতা বৃদ্ধি এবং ভবিষ্যতের খাদ্য-পুষ্টির সুরক্ষা নিশ্চিত করতে কৃষিতে দৃষ্টান্তমূলক পরিবর্তন প্রবর্তন করতে সক্ষম হতে হবে। পাশাপাশি রফতানিমুখী উৎপাদনসহ শিল্পায়নের প্রসার ঘটানোই হবে ভবিষ্যতের কাঠামোগত রূপান্তরের চালক।

এরই প্রেক্ষাপটে ২০৪১ সালের জন্য কৃষি খাতের লক্ষ্য স্থির করার ক্ষেত্রে প্রধানত চারটি বিষয়ে গুরুত্ব দিতে হবে। প্রথমত, উন্নত খাদ্য ও পুষ্টি সুরক্ষা নিশ্চিতকরণ। দ্বিতীয়ত, প্রতিযোগিতামূলক পণ্য উৎপাদন ও উন্নত বাজারজাতের ব্যবস্থা করা এবং কৃষিক্ষেত্রে ক্লাস্টার ও ভ্যালু চেইনের বিকাশ করা। তৃতীয়ত. ক্ষুদ্র ও প্রান্তিক কৃষকদের স্বার্থ মাথায় রেখে প্রাতিষ্ঠানিক সক্ষমতা জোরদার করার পাশাপাশি চাহিদা সম্প্রসারণমূলক সেবাগুলোর প্রতি গুরুত্ব প্রদান। এক্ষেত্রে বিকেন্দ্রীভূতকরণের ভূমিকা অনস্বীকার্য। চতুর্থত, চাল, শাকসবজি, ফলমূল ও মসলা, প্রাণিজ প্রোটিন, দুগ্ধজাত পণ্য, মাছ এবং অন্যান্য পুষ্টিকর খাদ্য উৎপাদনে স্বয়ংসম্পূর্ণতা অর্জন করতে হবে। যা কিনা আমাদের সীমিত জমির উর্বরাশক্তি বৃদ্ধি, বৃহৎ পরিসরে খাদ্য উৎপাদন এবং যান্ত্রিক চাষাবাদ ব্যবস্থার উন্নয়নের মাধ্যমেই অর্জন করা সম্ভব। এক্ষেত্রে অগ্রাধিকার ভিত্তিতে এবং গুরুত্ব অনুযায়ী কৌশল নির্ধারণ করা অত্যন্ত জরুরি। ক্ষুদ্র কৃষকদের জন্য সুযোগ-সুবিধাগুলো হতে হবে বাজারকেন্দ্রিক এবং পরিবর্তনের ক্ষেত্রে দায়ী এজেন্টদের চিহ্নিত করে সঠিকভাবে পরিচালনা করতে হবে। এছাড়া কৃষি সম্প্রসারণ কর্মকর্তা, স্থানীয় সার সরবরাহকারী এবং এ ধরনের আরো যারা আছেন, সবাইকে একীভূত করা যেতে পারে। সম্প্রসারিতকরণের সময় সঠিক পয়েন্ট অর্থাৎ কোথা থেকে শুরু করব তা ঠিক করতে হবে। কৃষকদের সক্ষমতা বৃদ্ধি করতে হবে, যাতে কৃষকদের বিশেষ করে প্রান্তিক কৃষকদের অবস্থার উন্নয়ন হয় এবং আমরা শুধু Inclusive Growth-B নয়, Inclusive Agricultural Growth অর্জন করতে পারি ।

এসডিজির লক্ষ্যমাত্রাগুলো সঠিক সময়ে অর্জন করার জন্য কৃষি খাতকে এককভাবে না দেখে ম্যাক্রো অর্থনীতির সঙ্গে সমন্বিত অবস্থায় দেখা ভীষণ জরুরি। এসডিজির একটি মূল লক্ষ্য হচ্ছে Leave no one behind—সবাইকে সঙ্গে নিয়ে এগিয়ে যাওয়া, কাউকে পিছিয়ে রাখা যাবে না। সুতরাং সবাইকে নিয়েই যদি আমরা উন্নয়নের পথে এগিয়ে যেতে চাই তাহলে কৃষি খাতে যারা আছেন, যেমন ছোট জেলে, প্রান্তিক চাষী, এদের সবাইকে নিয়ে এগিয়ে যেতে হবে। এই এগিয়ে যাওয়ার পথে আমাদের অনেক প্রতিবন্ধকতারও সম্মুখীন হতে হবে। যেমন প্রতি বছর প্রায় ২০ লাখ জনসংখ্যা বৃদ্ধি পাচ্ছে, কীভাবে এদের পুষ্টিকর খাদ্যের নিশ্চয়তা দেয়া যায়, সে বিষয়টি দেখতে হবে। এক্ষেত্রে আমাদের অত্যাধুনিক প্রযুক্তির প্রাপ্যতা  নিশ্চিতকরণের পাশাপাশি এর গ্রহণযোগ্যতাও নিশ্চিত করতে হবে। স্থানীয় পর্যায়ে কৃষি সম্প্রসারণ ঘটাতে হবে। জমির উৎপাদনশীলতা বাড়ানোর পাশাপাশি কীভাবে উন্নত প্রযুক্তির মাধ্যমে শ্রম উৎপাদনশীলতা বাড়ানো যায়, সেটাও ভেবে দেখতে হবে। যেমন কৃষকদের জন্য কৃষিঋণ কার্ডের ব্যবস্থা করা যেতে পারে। কিছুু ব্যাংক এরই মধ্যে কৃষিঋণ কার্ড চালু করেছে। মাঠ পর্যায়ে কৃষকদের প্রযুক্তিগত শিক্ষা সম্প্রসারণের পাশাপাশি উপযুক্ত প্রশিক্ষণের ব্যবস্থা করা যেতে পারে। সুতরাং এসব কার্যক্রমের সুবিধা-অসুবিধা বিবেচনা করে কৃষি খাতকে আরো কীভাবে সম্প্রসারিত করা যায়, তা ভাবার সময় এসেছে।

গ্রামীণ কৃষি অর্থনীতির পরিবর্তনের জন্য শহর ও গ্রামের সংযোগ বৃদ্ধির ভূমিকা অনস্বীকার্য। সেজন্য কৃষিতে এবং কৃষির বাইরে কর্মসংস্থানের সুবিধা বাড়াতে হবে। সরকারি খাতের পাশাপাশি বেসরকারি খাতের ভূমিকাও বাড়াতে হবে। কীভাবে দক্ষতা উন্নয়নের মাধ্যমে আমাদের যুবসমাজকে কৃষি খাতে যুক্ত করা যায় এবং গ্রামীণ অকৃষি কাজের পরিধি বাড়ানো যায়, সেটা ভেবে দেখতে হবে। নারী কৃষকদের উন্নত প্রযুক্তির মাধ্যমে সুযোগ-সুবিধা বৃদ্ধির পাশাপাশি উদ্ভাবনীমূলক প্রাতিষ্ঠানিক চুক্তির মাধ্যমে কীভাবে গ্রামীণ সেবাগুলো সীমিত সম্পদ ব্যবহার করে শহরে পৌঁছে দেয়া যায়, তা নিয়ে ভাবতে হবে। পুষ্টিকর ও সুষম খাদ্যের নিশ্চয়তার পাশাপাশি কৃষি খাতে টেকসই উৎপাদন নিশ্চিত করতে হবে এবং একই সঙ্গে পরিবেশগত পরিবর্তনগুলোও বিবেচনায় রাখতে হবে। কৃষিখাদ্য খাতের পরিবর্তনটাকে যদি আমরা হলিস্টিক দৃষ্টিভঙ্গি নিয়ে দেখতে পারি তাহলে এ খাত স্বয়ংসম্পূর্ণ হওয়ার পাশাপাশি এর মাধ্যমে ভবিষ্যতে অন্যান্য খাতকেও সহায়তা দেয়া সম্ভব হবে।

 

ফারহানা নার্গিসরিসার্চ ফেলো, ইনস্টিটিউট ফর ইনক্লুসিভ ফিন্যান্স অ্যান্ড ডেভেলপমেন্ট (আইএনএম)

 

 

 

February 25, 2020

FIN-B Member’s Training Workshop on Mental Health and Professional Productivity

The Financial Inclusion Network, Bangladesh (FIN-B), an initiative of the Institute for Inclusive Finance and Development (InM), organised a workshop on ‘Mental Health and Professional Productivity’ in collaboration with Life-spring Consultancy Ltd. and KK Foundation on 25 February 2020. The workshop discussed the mental health issues that directly affect productivity in the work-life and on the ways of attaining a good work-life balance. InM Chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad and Executive Director Dr Mustafa K. Mujeri attended the workshop along with the participants including Executive Directors of FIN-B member organisations, doctors, bankers, psychologists and development practitioners.

 

The mental health session was conducted by Dr Saydul Ashraf, Lead Psychiatrist, LifeSpring Consultancy Ltd. and explained the importance of building a sound mind to lead a healthy and successful life. He discussed signs of clinical depression, self-discovery and good life philosophy along with a short mental health assessment among the participants. This was followed by a mindfulness session conducted by Dr Shusama Reza, Lead Psychosexologist, Lifespring Consultancy Ltd. At the concluding session, Mr Yahia Md. Amin, Chairman, Lifespring Consultancy Ltd, focused on providing mental health services both to the development target groups and development practitioners. He argued that the people were unlikely to grow to their full potential unless they had a strong mindset to improve their own life. This was the very reason why many development projects had failed to put a long term impact on the poor people. He emphasised on building collaboration among the development practitioners and psychological health service providers.

  

Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, InM elaborated on the scope of working together for the overall well-being of the deprived people. He argued that human welfare dimensions should not be compartmentalised as these always worked together to enhance human welfare. People’s mental well-being and human and other development dimensions were interconnected; and these needed integrated development to lead a dignified life.

 

Besides, Ms Sifat-E-Azam, Executive Director of the KK Foundation conducted a short session on different activities with street children and an innovative product designed for marginalised poultry farmers. The workshop was concluded with the speech of Dr Mustafa K. Mujeri, Executive Director, InM.

 

 

next page

 

 
© 2020 InM
Legal and Privacy policy    Webmail    FAQ    Contact    Blog    RSS Feed