Finance adviser rules out escalation of rural inflation
The finance adviser yesterday ruled out the possibility of escalation of rural inflation on implementation of the government's 100 days of employment generation scheme.
"I don't think that the programme will increase localised inflation since in the reasonably small country the foods and goods can be transported easily and shortly in case of demand,” Dr AB Mirza Azizul Islam told a policy workshop in Dhaka.
Except perishable goods across the country the costs of products are the same if the transportation cost is considered, he further said, replying to remarks by some discussants at the workshop that employment generation in rural areas without having any increase in the productivity might increase consumption, resulting in inflation.
At the workshop styled ' 100 Days of Employment Generation: Implementation Opportunities and Challenges', organised by the Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC), speakers pointed to the Indian experience in such a programme that caused rural inflation.
The government in the new fiscal undertook the programme worth Tk 2,000 crore aiming to create employment for some 2 million workers with daily remuneration of Tk 100 per person.
In the World Bank supported workshop the finance adviser said the main aim of the project is to alleviate poverty, adding that it would not affect the normal labour market of rural areas.
Across the country the average daily labour cost is between Tk 120 to Tk 150 and the daily wage under the programme was deliberately fixed at Tk 100 a day so that people don't join the programme if there is another source of job in rural areas, the adviser said.
Speaking at the function, Commerce Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman hinged geographical targeting and micro mapping on the success of the programme.
" In Nilphamari district there are 44 unions, 37 of which are comparatively well off and another seven unions are very vulnerable for some reasons including flash flood. So we should have to consider the local dynamics before implementing the programme," said Zillur.
Deputy Managing Director of Grameen Bank Dipal C Barua stressed setting up priority, training of workers, monitoring and evaluation for the success of the scheme.
Underlining the need for the involvement of local government with the initiative, he also suggested trying different models in different areas for the success of the programme.
Atiur Rahman, chairperson of Unnayan Samannay, urged the government to prioritise the haors, chars, and coastal belt and draught and seasonal poverty- prone areas in implementing the project so that most of the poor people can reap benefit from it.
Quazi Mesbahuddin Ahmed, managing director of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), also spoke on the occasion.