Economic growth alone cannot ensure well-being of the general mass, especially those living under the poverty line, economists said yesterday.
The view came at the closing ceremony of a study circle on life and works of renowned economist Prof Anisur Rahman, at the University of Dhaka.
Rahman, who taught economics at the university, was a member of the first Planning Commission after the independence of Bangladesh in 1971.
At the discussion, Salehuddin Ahmed, former governor of Bangladesh Bank, said Prof Anisur Rahman dedicated his life for the betterment of people.
“He (Rahman) wanted to see everyone happy and focused on nurturing creativity of people for their betterment. He used to take his students to the rural areas so that they learn from the struggles of poor,” he said.
Ahmed said political will is important to eradicate poverty.
He said only economic growth will not ensure development. People’s well-being should be ensured, he added.
At the event, discussants were also critical about the role of microcredit to lift people out of poverty.
Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, chairman of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation, said a lot of discussion has been going on regarding the impact of microcredit on poverty alleviation.
However, this will not ensure development of people in real sense, he said, adding that the PKSF now focuses on providing credit to ensure that people become self-sufficient so that they can have better education along with improved health and sanitation.
Meghna Guhathakurta, executive director of the Research Initiatives, Bangladesh and former professor of International Relations of Dhaka University, said Rahman always tries to see issues such as poverty alleviation, equity and knowledge creation from different perspective.
“He used to term people without wealth as under privileged, not poor,” she said.
Prof MM Akash of the University of Dhaka, said Prof Rahman always focused on participatory development.
Prof Rahman is also an advocate and believer of self-reliant development of countries, he said.
Mashiur Rahman, prime minister’s economic affairs adviser, and M Syeduzzaman, former finance minister, also spoke at the event.