What does Bangladesh really need right now?

“Bangladesh” has been a frequent word for last few years in world politics, be it the Rohingya issue or the newly discovered unthinkable amount of natural gas resource (goo.gl/49Ucmq). One way or the other, Bangladesh is going to encounter the league of leaders eventually.

One of the many reasons behind the gradual change of economic and political status of Bangladesh could be that Bangladesh’s economy has been magnificently swelling up where Saudis are cutting budgets due to global crisis for the past few years. Bangladesh has undertaken many development projects in recent years, which implies lot of money is being spent. Now that we have already seen China and India in a fierce competition for securing as many contracts as possible by offering loans and political support to Bangladesh; there would not be much of a surprise if none other than US and Russia offers us their shoulders to ride on for an even bigger project in days to come.

The next logical question should be whether we are ready to go head to head with the big players or become the hyper-nutrified host body for some vicious parasites to suck on for a few years.

Are we going right? Are we going on our own or being driven by someone else for their nefarious interest? These questions keep coming when we are fast-walking through a crowd. Being a fresher in the heavy weight’s ring, we need to be careful whom we hold on to, because changing side is a part of the profession for the current champion, a nightmare for a fresher.

Coming back to the recent trend of development in Bangladesh, the development budgets are mostly allocated to a notorious and unyielding sector, the road transportation division. Such development projects are, in a word, the bachelorette party for the dominant stakeholders due to the lack of accountability and transparency to people who pay for it.

Over-budgeting, lingering, frequently revising plans are some common scenarios we have witnessed in some of the projects so far; be it the Malibag-Mouchak flyover, the metro rail or the grand Padma Bridge. People are paying their sweat and blood for the sumptuous honeymoon and medical trips of the Govt. officials, foreign consultants and contractors. If anyone commits the crime of raising questions on the legitimacy, viability or the opportunity costs of such projects, they are getting either nothing at all or the baton of the law enforcement units.

Such disturbing facts make us think about the worst contingency that the trend of development is not being steered by Bangladesh itself. Some ungodly purposes tagged with tremendous amount of money are being served by few barbarian parasites wanting to turn Bangladesh into their host body.

What Bangladesh really needs is self-sustainability which can be further translated into a nation-wide, viable, well-yielding development. Needless to say, the contrast of development between urban and rural areas remarks the unfair spending of the taxpayer’s money. Also, development initiatives based on a partial and not an all-encompassing planning substantially injures the purpose of development.

The thought brings us to the peak of maturity where decentralization of the locus of the factors of production seems logical and the key to sustainable development. Accumulating all the wealth and people to one city shall make the rest of the country barren and unyielding which, in turn, cuts our capacity, efficiency and country’s overall GDP while adding to the cost of production and management and country’s overall debt.

Therefore, investing in the development of rural areas rather than that of urban areas shall yield in favor of Bangladesh’s interest and gradually make it a self-sustaining first world country with all the factors of production available in-house. Thus Bangladesh shall not have to bow before anyone, whoever it may be, in the global house of leaders; rather everyone else, whoever is interested to team up with Bangladesh, shall have to extend their hands first.

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