A small number of people are leading the life of the first-world while hundreds of thousands of workers are languishing in the third-world condition in Bangladesh, said economist Prof Rehman Sobhan yesterday.
But there is none to raise the issues of workers or listen to their voices and concerns, he said while speaking at a discussion on expectations of workers and employees in the coming budget for fiscal year 2019-20.
The Trade Union Centre (TUC) organised the event at the National Press Club in the capital.
Sobhan, also the chairman of the Centre for Policy Dialogue, said inequality has risen in society.
It is rising day by day, he said, adding that discrimination in politics would increase with the rise in the discrimination in the economy. On ensuring the rights of workers, he said workers were divided but owners were united.
The owners are politically strong and many of them are now lawmakers and ministers, he said adding that issues of businesspeople were given importance in the budgets.
Because they are politically and socially powerful, the economist said, adding that a majority of lawmakers were businesspeople now. The difference between politics and business does not exist anymore, said Sobhan.
Democracy will not exist in politics unless there is democracy in the economy, said Sobhan.
He also said the level of poverty may decline but disparity would increase under the existing economic structure.
Prof Mustafizur Rahman, a distinguished fellow of the CPD, also said inequality is rising fast in Bangladesh.
Prof MM Akash presented a keynote paper at the event.