April 5, 2023
DHAKA – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked the authorities concerned to incorporate women’s unpaid household works into Bangladesh’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Women do domestic chores all their life but their work has remained unreported for a long time, the premier said.
Talking to reporters at a press briefing at the planning ministry, Planning Minister MA Mannan said the premier made the comments while chairing a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council in Dhaka.
Mannan also shared the results of the preliminary report of the latest Labour Force Survey 2022 in the meeting.
Many developed Nordic countries like Finland and Norway have already acknowledged women’s domestic contribution, the prime minister said
Many developed Nordic countries like Finland and Norway have already acknowledged women’s domestic contribution, Hasina said.
In response, the planning minister said he will assign the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies to work on it.
If women’s contribution is taken into consideration, Bangladesh’s GDP would even be $900 billion, Mannan said.
At the meeting, the premier also expressed her joy at the increasing participation of women in the labour force of Bangladesh.
Welcoming the move, Prof Sharmind Neelormi of Jahangirnagar University’s economics department said this was a much-awaited issue for the country.
“But it should not be implemented hastily just before the country’s upcoming national budget for 2023-24 fiscal year,” she said.
Some developed nations have already undertaken the proper approach on including women’s unpaid work in their national accounting system, she said.
Better not to rush on the matter, lest it leads to mistakes, she added.
At the meeting, the premier also welcomed the increasing participation of women in the labour market. Women account for some 42.85 per cent of the labour force at present whereas earlier it was 36 per cent.
In another note, the premier asked the authorities concerned to take necessary measures for realising tolls from the regional highways.
“The government is constructing infrastructures spending thousands of crores of taka. So, there is a need to make arrangements for realising tolls from the regional highways at least at a minimum rate,” she said.
Through this, the culture of paying tolls will be developed among people, she added.
The prime minister also directed the authorities to ensure the maintenance of the rural roads, said Mannan.
The planning minister said the day’s Ecnec meeting approved a total of 11 projects involving an overall estimated cost of Tk 4,252.66 crore.
“Of the total project cost, Tk 3,645.21 crore will come from the government exchequer while the remaining Tk 607.45 crore as project assistance (foreign loans),” he added.
Of the approved 11 projects, six are new while five are revised projects.