Despite national development growth, poverty has increased simultaneously in the country with disparity in regional development and per capita income, said leading urban planners citing a research finding in the capital yesterday.
According to official information, poverty has increased in ten districts of the northern region, including five districts in Rangpur division alone, said Prof Adil Mohammed Khan, general secretary of Bangladesh Institute of Planners (BIP).
The districts are Kurigram, Rangpur, Dinajpur, Gaibandha and Lalmonirhat.
“The country’s poorest people live in Kurigram, with 71 percent people living in poverty in the district,” said Khan while presenting the findings.
Dinajpur stands second in poverty rate with 64 percent people under the poverty line.
The other five poverty-stricken districts are Bandarban, Khagrachhari, Jamalpur, Kishoreganj and Magura.
BIP organised a press conference to share the findings of a research on “Comparative regional development analysis” at its premises.
As a result of disparity in development, Dhaka, Chattogram and Sylhet divisions have experienced uneven development growth compared to Rangpur division, which has three times more poverty than those three divisions, the research said citing Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics.
Now, in keeping with the country’s constitutional obligation, an even allocation of annual development is a must to alleviate regional development disparity, said Khan.
BIP vice-president Prof Md. Akter Mahmud said that an imbalance and disparity of development have occurred thanks to centralised allocation of resources in certain chosen regions on political consideration.
“As a result, poverty and regional development disparity have grown consistently,” he said, “It is time to look into the pattern of public expenditure for a national development parity.”
In the country’s annual development programme, Dhaka district gets 47 percent allocation, Chattogram 24 percent while Rangpur 1.79 percent, according to the research work based on data of annual development programme budget for five years since 2012-13 fiscal.
The research was jointly carried out by town planners Mamnunnah Jobaid and Prof Adil Mohammed Khan and was presented at a Yale University conference this year titled “Bangladesh in the Next 30 Years: Challenges and Prospects”.