Impact of Eid-ul-Azha on economy
The size of the Eid-ul-Azha economy is believed to be around Tk 31,000 crore, of which at least Tk 22,000 crore alone comes from cattle sales, as people are increasingly spending more on the back of their rising purchasing power.
The festival also brings bonanza for bus and launch operators and commodity traders and fuels the sales of refrigerators and freezers.
Above all, it ensures the supply of half of the annual requirement for raw materials of the country's second-biggest export earning sector: the leather and leather goods industry.
Analysts and businesses credited the rising purchasing power of consumers for the growing spending, which, they say, is contributing significantly to the socio-economic development of the country.
About 1 crore cattle were sacrificed during the Eid. Of them, 35 lakh to 40 lakh were cows and buffalos and the rest goats and sheep, Hiresh Ranjan Bhowmik, director general of the department of livestock and fisheries, told The Daily Star yesterday.
He said it will take this week to get the final number of the sacrificial animals that were slaughtered.
According to Bhowmik, the average price of a cow was at least Tk 50,000 and for a goat Tk 8,000. Based on his estimates, about Tk 22,000 crore came from the cattle sales.
However, Ahsan H Mansur, executive director of the Policy Research Institute, a think-tank, believes that the size of the Eid-ul-Azha economy was about $5 billion, or more than Tk 40,000 crore. Of the sum, about Tk 25,000 crore were generated by the cattle trade and the remaining Tk 15,000 crore through the sales of commodities, refrigerators, freezers and furniture as well as the spending on transportation and tourism, he said.
“Eid creates demand and increases the cash flow in the economy,” said Mansur, adding that salaried employees who receive festival bonuses create a positive impact in the economy.
Khondaker Golam Moazzem, research director of the Centre for Policy Dialogue, another think-tank, said the festival is generating a remarkable dimension in the economy. “Spending is not just limited to cattle buying and sales; rather, it has gone beyond that as consumers spend more to buy freezers, furniture, clothes and footwear and on holidaying,” he said.
According to the researcher, the spending in the run-up to Eid has been growing over the years as people's purchasing power is increasing both in rural and urban areas.
Abdul Majid, a former chairman of the National Board of Revenue, has been analysing the Eid economy for the last few years and found that consumers' spending on the occasion of Eid has grown significantly over the years.
He estimated that about 78 lakh cows, buffalos, sheep and goats were sacrificed in 2017. The number would be around 90 lakh this year.
Money is also generated in the way of collection, storage and processing of the hides of cattle, he said.