Monday, December 10, 2012

Comparing Bangladesh With Pakistan in 2012

Lavish praise for Bangladesh and scolding for Pakistan mark the anniversary of the painful events leading up to the breakup of Pakistan in December 1971. This annual ritual is usually led by writers from Pakistan's arch-rival India. A few Bangladeshi  nationalists and disgruntled Pakistanis join in as well. Here are a few samples of it:

 1. Sadanand Dhume, Wall Street Journal

 "Not long ago, when you thought of a South Asian country ravaged by floods, governed by bumblers and apparently teetering on the brink of chaos, it wasn't Pakistan that came to mind. That distinction belonged to Bangladesh.....Bangladesh has much to be proud of. Its economy has grown at nearly 6% a year over the past three years. The country exported $12.3 billion worth of garments last year, making it fourth in the world behind China, the EU and Turkey..... Nearly 40 years ago, only the most reckless optimist would have bet on flood-prone, war-ravaged Bangladesh over relatively stable and prosperous Pakistan. But with a higher growth rate, a lower birth rate, and a more internationally competitive economy, yesterday's basket case may have the last laugh."

2.  Akbar Ali Khan, Bangladesh's Daily Star

"Per capita income in West Pakistan in 1950 was only four per cent higher than that of East Pakistan. In 1970 per capita income in West Pakistan exceeded that of East Pakistan by 61 percent. The increase in disparity of two wings reinforced the secessionist argument that West Pakistan was becoming richer at the expense of East Pakistan....annual per capita income growth in Bangladesh since 1972 exceeded almost every year total per capita income growth in East Pakistan in twenty years. This clearly suggests that political independence provided much more conducive environment for growth in Bangladesh than united Pakistani. . Though economic growth in East Pakistan was revived during Ayub Khan's so-called decade of reforms, growth rate in erstwhile East Pakistan was much lower than that of West Pakistan."

3.  S. Akbar Zaidi, Pakistan's Daily Dawn

"In the world of development achievements and democratic and secular credentials, it is Bangladesh today which offers a rather sad comment on Pakistan`s numerous failed promises. Bangladesh is one of the six countries in Asia and Africa which has been feted for its progress towards achieving its Millennium Development Goals, a set of targets that seek to eradicate extreme poverty and boost health, education and the status of women worldwide by 2015....The West Pakistani elite which lived off the resources of East Pakistan for 25 years and was happy to see the basket case East Pakistan become Bangladesh, needs to seriously come to terms with its continuing hubris and past. The least that the civilian and military Pakistani elite can do is to seek forgiveness for the crimes committed four decades ago, and to begin to learn how basket cases and failed states can become successful democratic, developmental and secular states."


Let's now assess how Bangladesh and Pakistan have performed since 1971 by looking at some key indicators like per capita income, upward mobility and consumption of energy and cement in the two countries.

PPP GDP of Pakistan and Bangladesh Source: World Bank



Per Capita Income:

Economic gap between East and West Pakistan in 1960s is often cited as a key reason for the secessionist movement led by Shaikh Mujib's Awami League and the creation of Bangladesh in 1971. This disparity has grown over the last 40 years, and the per capita income in Pakistan now stands at more than twice Bangladesh's in 2012 in nominal dollar terms,  higher than 1.6 as claimed by Akbar Ali Khan in 1971.

 Here are some figures from Economist magazine's EIU 2013:

Bangladesh GDP per head: $695 (PPP: $1,830)

Pakistan GDP per head: $1,410 (PPP: $2,960)

Pakistan-Bangladesh GDP per head Ratio: 2.03 ( PPP: 1.62)

Bangladesh-Pakistan GDP (Source: World Bank) 


Upward Economic Mobility:

Pakistan has continued to offer much greater upward economic and social mobility to its citizens than Bangladesh and India over the last two decades. Since 1990, Pakistan's middle class had expanded by 36.5%, India's by only 12.8% and Bangladesh's by just 8.3%, according to an ADB report titled "Asia's Emerging Middle Class: Past, Present And Future.




Per Capita Energy Consumption:

Energy consumption in this day and age generally indicates a nation's level of industrialization, productivity and standards of living. Going by this yardstick, Pakistan's 14 million BTUs per capita consumption is well ahead of Bangladesh's 6 million BTUs per capita as estimated by US Energy Information Administration for 2009.


Per Capita Cement Consumption:


Cement use is an important barometer of national economic activity in developing countries. Pakistan's cement consumption of 132 Kg per capita is significantly higher than Bangladesh's 85 Kg per person.  

Agriculture Value Added Per Capita in Constant 2000 US$ (Source: World Bank)


Job Growth:

 Pakistan's employment growth has been the highest in South Asia region since 2000, followed by Nepal, Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka in that order, according to a recent World Bank report titled "More and Better Jobs in South Asia".


Total employment in South Asia (excluding Afghanistan and Bhutan) rose from 473 million in 2000 to 568 million in 2010, creating an average of just under 800,000 new jobs a month. In all countries except Maldives and Sri Lanka, the largest share of the employed are the low‐end self-employed.



Other Facts: 

Here are a few other relevant data points in comparing Bangladesh and Pakistan:

1. Bangladesh is still categorized by the World Bank among low income and least developed countries of the world, while Pakistan is a middle income country and classified well above the list of least developed countries of the world.



2. Bangladesh is ranked as 11th poorest country in the world by the World Bank in terms of the percentage of population living on $1.25 or less a day. Neighboring India is the 14th poorest on this list, while Pakistan does not show up on it. The rest of the nations on this list are all in sub-Saharan Africa.

3. In 1947, East Pakistan started with a lower economic base than West Pakistan, and the loss of its Hindu Bengali business elite in 1947 left it worse off. It also didn't have the benefit of the large number of Muslim businessmen who migrated to West Pakistan, particularly Karachi, after partition of India in 1947.

4. Pakistani economist Dr. Ishrat Husain explains it well when he says that "although East Pakistan benefited from Ayub’s economic reforms in 1960s, the fact that these benefits were perceived as a dispensation from a quasi-colonial military regime to its colony—East Pakistan—proved to be lethal."

World Hunger Index Rankings



It must, however, be acknowledged that Bangladeshi economy has been outperforming Pakistan's in the last few years, particularly since President Musharraf's departure in 2008. Bangladesh has also made significant strides on various social indicators and it now ranks just one notch below Pakistan on human development index 2011. Bangladesh's family planning efforts have been remarkably successful in lowering the fertility rate of Bangladeshi women, an area where Pakistan significantly lags behind the rest of South Asia.

Here's a recent video about Pakistan:



Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Economic Disparity Between Bangladesh and Pakistan

Comparing India and Pakistan in 2011

Is This a 1971 Moment in Pakistan's History?

Pakistan Ahead of India in Graduation Rates

Pakistan Tops Job Growth in South Asia

Pakistan Needs More Gujaratis?

President Musharraf's Legacy

Demolishing Indian War Myths




55 comments:

Anonymous said...

LOL. Only Riaz has monopoly over the truth.

Read from today's NYT. See what they say about Pakistan's risk of failure.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/11/world/china-to-be-no-1-economy-before-2030-study-says.html?_r=0&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1355220574-nvSk7nLphB7bSTOlEhabAw

Shams said...

The question is not what BD v. PK is doing now.

The question is how BD would have been with PK in control.

PK army (read Punjabi / Pathans) were killing, raping, stealing, and destroying BD all along.

Mayraj said...

Those horrible death trap factories produce 80% of Bangladesh export earning.
That tells you Bangladesh is lacking in leadership.

HopeWins Junior said...

Dr. Haq,

This is a good article. However, I think it is incomplete, as it does not cover many important trends. It may be helpful for your readers if you were to include the following:

Pakistan & Bangladesh;
30-Year TRENDS

(1) GDP Growth Rates:
http://alturl.com/2r9uu

(2) Per Capita GDP Growth Rates:
http://alturl.com/cyto7

(3) Per Capita GDP (PPP)
http://alturl.com/hch3y

(4) Gross Savings:
http://alturl.com/v4ray

(5) Gross Investments:
http://alturl.com/gxwii

(6) CPI Inflation:
http://alturl.com/kdx7v

(7) Population Growth
http://alturl.com/fdm5z

(8) Human Development:
http://alturl.com/tgttg

(9) CAGR of GDP:
http://alturl.com/pxvet

Thank you.

Riaz Haq said...

Shams: "The question is not what BD v. PK is doing now...The question is how BD would have been with PK in control"

My question is how has Pakistan managed to achieve 2X the per capita income of Bangladesh since 1971 if West Pakistanis" lived off the resources of East Pakistan for 25 years"?

Riaz Haq said...

Mayraj: "Those horrible death trap factories produce 80% of Bangladesh export earning.
That tells you Bangladesh is lacking in leadership."

Remember the garment factory fire in Karachi that claimed over 200 lives earlier this year? So Pakistan is not much better in this regard.

HopeWins Junior said...

^^RH: My question is how has Pakistan managed to achieve 2X the per capita income of Bangladesh since 1971 if West Pakistanis" lived off the resources of East Pakistan for 25 years"?
----

Simple.

It is called Primitive Accumulation of Capital. The idea was explained 150 years ago.

For example, England used India to boost its Capital Accumulation Rate from 1757-1947.

So by 1947, England had already accumulated disproportional capital than they would have had without control of India.

The faster growth rate of England beyond 1947 was based on this historically-accumulated high capital level.

The SAME is true of our country vis-a-vis Bangladesh. The relationship between England and India between 1757-1947 is the SAME as our relationship with Bangladesh between 1947-1971. We treated Bangladesh exactly like a COLONY.

By way of hard data, look up the source of foreign exchange earnings between 1947-1971 for Unified Pakistan. Then look at where the imported capital equipment that was purchased using that foreign exchange actually went. The evidence is crystal clear.

HopeWins Junior said...

^^RH: "How come China, the doesn't suffer from this;yet South Asia is prone?"
----

It is impossible to know what China suffers from or not. They do not have a free-press.

HopeWins Junior said...

^^^RH:"True; but it has other ways to earn revenue as well"
---

This is true. But not by much.

PAKISTAN EXPORTS of Goods & Servs
Textiles & Related: 60%
Food & Related: 12%
Leather & Related: 8%
Total Textiles, Food, Leather: 80%

BANGLADESH EXPORTS of Goods & Servs
Textiles & Related: 80%
Food & Related: 2%
Leather & Related: 2%
Total Textiles, Food, Leather: 84%

INDIA EXPORTS of Goods & Services
Textiles & Related: 6%
Food & Related: 6%
Leather & Related: 1%
Total Textiles, Food, Leather: 13%

HopeWins Junior said...

^^RH: "Energy consumption in this day and age generally indicates a nation's level of industrialization, productivity and standards of living."
---

This is true, but in Third-World countries, general "energy" consumption is difficult to measure as a lot of informal (undocumented) sources of energy are used. So the usual parameter used as a proxy for "industrialization, productivity and standards of living" is actually Electricity Consumption per capita.

By way of proof, if you look at our Per Capita Electricity Consumption (pcEC) data from the World Bank you can clearly see (a) the Zia Boom, (b) the Bibi/Sharif Stagnation, (c) the Mushy Boom and (c) the current Zardari Stagnation:

http://alturl.com/xuteb

By focusing on 1980-2010 window, we can note the following in that graph:
(1) We had a great boom from 1980-1992, with pcEC growing from 130 to 330 kWh thereby registering a 155% increase in those 12-years.
(2) We then had a LOST Decade from 1992-2002, with pcEC barely growing from 330 to only 360 kWh in those ten years.
(3) We then had another short-lived boom from 2003-2007, with pcEC growing from 360 to 470 kWh in the 5-years of that boom, thereby registering a 30% increase in 5 years
(4) From 2008 onwards, it has been a DISASTER, with pcEC going DOWN from 470 to only 450 kWh in 2010.

SUMMARY: From 1992 to 2010, Pakistan went from 330 kWh to 450 kWh, i.e. a 36% increase.

--

Compare with Bangladesh:
http://alturl.com/bfke4

Note the following for the 1980-2010 window:
(1) Bangladesh went from a SUPER LOW of 20 kWh in 1980 to 60 kWh in 1992, thereby registering a 3-fold (200%) increase in those 12-years .
(2) Bangladesh did not have a lost decade in the 90s. Their pcEC doubled from 60 kWh in 1992 to 120 kWh in 2002.
(3) Bangladesh also had a boom from 2003-2007, in which their pcEC grew from 120 kWh in 2002 to 200 kWh in 2007, thereby registering a 65% increase in just 5 years.
(4) Bangladesh continued to grow after the GFC, with the consumption increasing still further to 250 kWh in 2010.

SUMMARY: From 1992 to 2010, Bangladesh went from 60 kWh to 250 kWh, i.e. a 315% increase.

--

You can do the same for India as well:
http://alturl.com/qihhe

HopeWins Junior said...

In 2002, textiles and apparel manufacturing accounted for $400 billion in global exports, representing 8% of world trade in manufactured goods.

The countries with the largest share of their exports being textiles and apparel were as follows (2002):

Bangladesh: 85.9%
Cambodia: 72.5%
Pakistan: 72.1%
El Salvador: 60.2%
Dominican Republic: 50.9%
Nepal: 48.7%

Anonymous said...

Haq Sb.,

Your wrote :"Since 1990, Pakistan's middle class had expanded by 36.5%".

Some estimates say that in last 10 years Pakistan's middle class has doubled to 40% of the population.

"At the same time, some 70 million Pakistanis—40 percent of the population—have become middle-class, says Sakib Sherani, chief executive of Macro Economic Insights, a research firm in Islamabad"
Source: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-11-29/pakistan-land-of-entrepreneurs

Zamir

Riaz Haq said...

Zamir: "Some estimates say that in last 10 years Pakistan's middle class has doubled to 40% of the population."

Yes, it is consistent with Table 2.3 o page 4 of the Asian Development Bank report titled "Asia's Emerging Middle Class: Past, Present and Future".

http://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/KI/2010/Special-Chapter-02.pdf

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an interesting Huffington Post piece by investment adviser Dan Solin:

Pakistan is often in the news and usually in unflattering terms. The relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan is troubled, characterized by deep mutual distrust and conflicting goals.

The economy of Pakistan is equally troubled. According to the Heritage Foundation, its economy has been plagued by "political instability and violence." Much needed economic reform has been stalled by bureaucratic delays and lack of political will. Property rights in Pakistan are "compromised." The rule of law is "fragile." Taxation is "poorly administered." Its public debt is over 50 percent of total domestic output. Foreign investment is declining. Its overall ranking on economic freedom is below the world and even regional averages, placing it in the category of "mostly unfree" economies. To put this in perspective, there is more economic freedom in Yemen, Senegal and Nigeria than in Pakistan. Its unemployment rate is a staggering 15 percent. Its inflation rate is 11.7 percent.

Does this country seem like a good place to invest to you?

Now for the shocker: Year-to-date returns for the stock market of Pakistan were 46.73 percent. That's not a typo. Year-to-date returns for the U.S. during the same period were 11.90 percent.

Here are some other interesting facts. The stock markets in Nigeria and Kenya
were 27.26 percent and 26.56 percent, respectively. What about the returns in fast-growing economies like Brazil and China? Brazil was an anemic 1.43 percent. China was a loss of 10.20 percent.

If you are a typical investor, you believe paying attention to the financial news is important to your investing success. You read the financial media. You watch CNBC and pay special attention to the fund managers who "explain" the stock markets to you and encourage you to follow their advice (often by investing with their firms). Maybe you follow the stock picks served up by Jim Cramer, who appears to have an encyclopedic knowledge of all things financial.

Let me ask you this question. Did any source of financial news advise you to invest in the stock markets of Pakistan, Nigeria or Kenya? Or Turkey, which topped the list with returns of 47.31 percent? How about your broker or financial adviser? They make it appear they have special insight into the financial markets. Did they advise you to invest in any of the countries reporting returns higher than the U.S.?

The average returns of the 77 countries is a positive return of 8.47 percent. In 2011, the average was a negative 14.15 percent and the list of top performers was markedly different, with Venezuela, Jamaica and Botswana turning in stellar results, along with Pakistan which came in second.

Trying to predict which country will perform best in 2013 is a crapshoot. So is trying to pick stocks that are mispriced, or betting on which asset class will outperform. Yet the securities industry continues to thrive by persuading you to pay its members fat fees for dispensing precisely this kind of "advice."

The next time your broker peers into his crystal ball and makes a recommendation, ask this question: Did you predict stellar returns in Pakistan, Nigeria or Kenya for 2012?


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-solin/you-learn-investors-pakistan_b_2266913.html?utm_hp_ref=business

Vishesh said...

HAHAHA, haq, you have serious issues. Every year you come up with this comparison with bangladesh at this time and with india during independance day and quote the same statistics.

Firstly,

pakistan hasn't achieved any upward mobility vis-a-vis India and i'm pretty sure bangladesh. Look at per capita income PPP and you will see India has a PPP income 25% higher than pak.

2. Please view the job growth and for India it takes into account the period from 1985 not 2000 as you have convieneintly taken for pak. SO if you take pak it will probably be the lowest considering it has only experienced some semblance of high growth for about 5 years in the early years of 2000 and thats that. Whereas, India has continuously experienced a much higher growth than pak in these years. So get Your figures right!

3. Population of pak is grossly undervalued, it is 200 million and not 180 million as potrayed by your govt.

According to preliminary census 2011 it is 195 million, hence by now it has definitely crossed 200mn.

http://www.newgeography.com/content/002940-pakistan-where-population-bomb-exploding

4.Pakistan is a huge RECEIVER practically beggar of Aid from the west while India is LENDER. So is Bangladesh, But you have to take in mind how pakistan had looted and plundered bangladesh for 24years and used its resources for its own benefit.

5. When you compare the two countries, don't show stats of the past. Give figures of the present and show growth figures over the period in sttention.

Alas, we can never expect that from a frankly dumb person like you.

BTW, last year you were revelling in glory on how INR had depreciated even though your paki currency had depreciated too. Look at the facts not. $1= 97.2 for pak while INR has remained the same at around 54-55 levels. On top of that paks foreign reserves have gone down to $13.5 billion from $18bn while Indias is steady at $295bn which is 23 times that of pak!

HopeWins Junior said...

^^Vishesh said...

Firstly,...
2. .....
3. .....
4. .....
5. .....

Alas, we can never expect that from a frankly dumb person like you.
----

And YET, even after ALL of the above, one basic fact STILL remains the same:

India leads the world in open defecation. India(638m) is followed by Indonesia (58m), China (50m), Ethiopia (49m), Pakistan (48m), Nigeria (33m) and Sudan (17m). In terms of percentage of each country's population resorting to the unhygienic practice, Ethiopia tops the list with 60%, followed by India 54%, Nepal 50%, Pakistan 28%, Indonesia 26%, and China 4%

HopeWins Junior said...

Comparing Per Capital Electricity Production between Pakistan & Bangladesh from 1971 through to 2010:

FY.....Pak....Bangla...Ratio P/B
1971.....91 ....10 .......8.7
1975.....108 ...17 .......6.3
1980.....132 ...19 .......7.0
1985.....192 ...33 .......5.8
1990.....267 ...49 .......5.5
1995.....345 ...77 .......4.5
2000.....357 ...103 ......3.5
2005.....448 ...175 ......2.6
2010.....447 ...262 ......1.7

SOURCE:
http://data.worldbank.org/
http://alturl.com/xuteb
http://alturl.com/bfke4

The very fact that we were consuming NINE times as much electricity as Bangladesh in the early seventies just shows clearly that they were being treated as a second-class colony.

The fact that the ratio has now narrowed to 1.7 shows clearly how rapidly Bangladesh has managed to transform its economy away from colonialism and towards a balanced one capable of standing on its own two feet.

Riaz Haq said...

HWJ: "The very fact that we were consuming NINE times as much electricity as Bangladesh in the early seventies just shows clearly that they were being treated as a second-class colony."

Your data is bogus. It makes no sense that people in West Pakistan 9X more electricity per capita than East Pakistanis to produce just 70% more GDP per capita, unless East Pakistanis used other forms of energy for which you need to look at total energy consumption in terms of millions of BTUs rather than just KWhs.

It makes no sense even if you accept Dr. Kaiser Bengali's data that "Dhaka city had no electricity in 1947".

http://taraqee.wordpress.com/2008/02/21/making-sense-of-pakistan-and-its-economy/

HopeWins Junior said...

^^RH: "Your data is bogus. It makes no sense.."
----

Dr. Haq,

That data is not "mine". It comes from the World Bank. If it were "bogus", surely somebody would have raised a red flag at the World Bank. You can check it yourself:
http://data.worldbank.org/

And it COULD make sense depending on the structures of the economies of the two countries.

Here is how:

(1) Assume that in 1971, Bangladesh, as a 95% agricultural (human & animal power) economy, produced 100 Units of agricultural output with only 10 kWh/person electric power.

(2) Similarly, assume that Pakistan also produced 100 Units of agricultural output with the same 10 kWh/person electric power. However, Pakistan having more industry, used the OTHER 80 kWh/person to produce an additional 70 Units of Industrial goods.

Using (1) & (2), we can see that Pakistan could have a 70% higher output than Bangladesh with 9 times the electric power consumed.

The number do not necessarily scale linearly. It all depends on how the economies are structured.

What are your thoughts?

Thank you.

HopeWins Junior said...

^^RH: "Your data is bogus..."
------

You can see the actual World Bank data plotted by google itself:
http://alturl.com/vysxx

It shows the same thing. In 1971, we had about 90 kWh/person and they had about 10 kWh/person. In 2009, we have about 450 kWh/person and they had about 250 kwh/person.

So the ratio went from about 1:9 in 1971 to about 1:1.8 in 2009.

You can see all this with your own eyes. You don't have to depend on "my data or interpretation".


Riaz Haq said...

The "peace of the dead" is ending with the "eclipse of feudalism" in Pakistan. What we are seeing now is an "unplanned revolution" in the words of a Pakistani sociologist, a revolution that is transforming Pakistan for the better in the long run.

http://books.google.com/books?id=EKHZAAAAMAAJ&q=feudalism#search_anchor

http://himalmag.com/component/content/article/5126-the-eclipse-of-feudalism-in-pakistan.html

http://himalmag.com/component/content/article/5126-the-eclipse-of-feudalism-in-pakistan.html

http://sai.columbia.edu/outreach_files/Social%20&%20Structural%20Transformations%20in%20Pakistan.pdf

HopeWins Junior said...

Too see the transformational difference between Bangladesh and Pakistan, look at the Absolute Fixed Investments in Current USD that were made in the two countries from 1992-2011:

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/bangladesh/gross-fixed-capital-formation-us-dollar-wb-data.html

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/pakistan/gross-fixed-capital-formation-us-dollar-wb-data.html

Do a comparison between these two graphs:

1) In 1992, Bangladesh invested 5.5 Bilion$, while we invested 9.1 Billion$

2) In 2000, Bangladesh invested 10.75 Bilion$, while we invested 11.5 Billion$

3) In 2008, Bangladesh invested 19.2 Bilion$, while we invested 33.5 Billion$

4) In 2011, Bangladesh invested 27.5 Bilion$, while we invested 24.5 Billion$.

In summary, Bangladesh's performance post 1992 has been spectacularly better than that of Pakistan in general. After 2008, especially, this difference has been greatly magnified to the point that Pakistan is rapidly being bypassed in almost all parameters except Defence Spending.

These are the verifiable facts.

HopeWins Junior said...

^^RH:"...A few Bangladeshi nationalists....join in as well."
----

You mean like this?

Dec 19, 2012:
http://alturl.com/a2u7s

HopeWins Junior said...

Here's a recent video about Pakistan:

Entitled: "We will Survive!"
-----

Dr. Haq,

I am just curious about why a video in an article about how well we have done compared to Bangladesh is entitled, "We will SURVIVE!".

Has Bangladesh collapsed? Is anyone saying that they are close to collapse? Is the survival or existence of Bangladesh in question or jeopardy? If not, then why are we publishing these "survival" videos about Pakistan?

Please explain.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Compare the literacy rate of females between Bangladesh and Pakistan, then you get the real picture of how backward Pakistan is.

HopeWins Junior said...

Western Aid to Bangladesh is projected to hold steady over the next three years.

Western Aid to India is projected to be cut, with a complete end in 2015.
http://alturl.com/yvnqg
http://alturl.com/kiycn
http://alturl.com/fadcs

Western Aid to our country is projected to INCREASE.
http://alturl.com/5nu9n
http://alturl.com/4xg72
http://alturl.com/tov5w

Huh?

If, as you say, we have less hunger, higher graduation rates, better sanitation, more social mobility, and a larger middle-class than Bangladesh & India, then why are we projected to receive an INCREASE in aid? Why is the West not increasing aid to Bangladesh? Why is the West planning to decrease aid to India?

Am I missing something? Please explain.

Riaz Haq said...

HWJ: "Why is the West planning to decrease aid to India?"

I can't think of a better answer than India blogger Cybergandhi who says as follows:

"Due to the fake ‘India Shining’ propaganda launched by Hindutva idiots, foreign donors are reluctant to help the poor people in this country. According to figures provided by Britain’s aid agency, the total aid to India, from all sources, is only $1.50 a head, compared with an average of $17 per head for low-income countries."

http://escapefromindia.wordpress.com/

Meanwhile Israel, a rich OECD country, gets more foreign aid per capita than any other country, and it does not say NO to it.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Bloomberg on informal savings and investment in Pakistan:



Ali has been selling wall clocks and wristwatches in a crowded Karachi market for 15 years. He’s been participating in savings circles with fellow shopkeepers for just as long, and has used the proceeds to buy a car and acquire a new store.

Now he’s a few months away from getting 400,000 rupees ($4,100) from a savings group of 16 shopkeepers into which he’s been paying 1,000 rupees a day for almost a year. He plans to put a down payment on an apartment. “This system is flawless,” says Ali, 35, who goes by one name. “You can never save this way without this binding commitment of making payments every day or every month. At banks there are hassles and procedures that waste time. This is simple. The organizer comes to collect the money himself, and because of the trust element, it’s a given that we’ll get the money.”

Millions of Pakistanis save billions of rupees in informal, interest-free savings circles called ballot committees—popularly known as BCs—run by housewives, students, office workers, shopkeepers, even high-society ladies. Each member of a group of trusted friends or relatives contributes the same sum daily or monthly to a pool for a predetermined length of time, usually one year. Through a ballot, each participant is allotted a number indicating his or her turn. Every month, one participant gets the pool total. Everyone on the committee keeps contributing until each member gets a pot of cash.

---

No one knows the origins of savings circles, but they’re found in Africa and Latin America as well as Asia. “This system has existed in South Asia as long as I’ve known, and it was started by low-income women who were financially insecure,” says Ashfaque Hasan Khan, dean at the business school of the National University of Sciences & Technology in Islamabad. “The purpose was to hedge against a problem or to pay for a son or daughter’s wedding.” In India a similar savings plan, called a chit fund, flourishes. The big difference is that India’s savings circles, after years of operating on their own, are now regulated by the government.

No estimates exist of the total amount of the funds collected by the committees. In Karachi alone, the All Karachi Traders Alliance Association estimates 10 million rupees pour into ballot committees on a daily basis. “The size and volume of the circles is on the rise because inflationary pressures mean people need more cash now to do the same things,” says Dean Khan of National University. Inflation in Pakistan is close to 8 percent. While the official savings rate is 10.7 percent of gross domestic product, it is probably higher thanks to the committees.

Another reason the ballot committees are flourishing is the low level of financial literacy in Pakistan and the reluctance of ordinary Pakistanis to take part in cumbersome banking procedures. “Coverage by bank branches is fairly limited, especially in rural areas,” says Sakib Sherani, chief executive officer at Macro Economic Insights, a research firm in Islamabad. “The ballot committees offer greater flexibility and avoid the hassle of traveling to a bank, keeping documentation, and paying service charges.”

Only 14 percent of Pakistanis use a financial product from a formal financial institution, according to a 2009 World Bank report. That compares with 48 percent for India. But when informal financial networks such as the BCs are taken into account, 50.5 percent of Pakistanis have access to finance, according to the report. ....


http://mobile.businessweek.com/articles/2013-01-17/in-pakistan-savings-circles-beat-banks

HopeWins Junior said...

Bangladesh Court sentenced Jamaat-e-Islami leaders to death after being convicted of murder, arson, looting-- especially directly at the Hindu-minority-- during the 1971 conflict.

Jamaat-e-Islami members admit to opposing the creation of Bangladesh, but they that they did not indulge in violence against anyone.

Here is how the Jamaat-e-Islami are protesting the "trumped-up charges" of war-crimes against the Hindu-minority and the "false convictions" of murder, arson and looting:

http://alturl.com/hpq3h

Our Jamaat-e-Islami should learn from their Bangladeshi counterparts on how to maintain credibility in the eyes of the world.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an interesting Op Ed by Mazur Ejaz in Friday Times:

The condition of an economy is often confused with the financial health of its government. Pakistan's economy is perceived to be in a deep hole because of its near-bankrupt fiscal conditions. Similarly, America's inability to settle on a national budget is taken to be an indicator of the collapse of the US Empire.

In some ways, the condition of the economy and the financial health of the government are separate matters. Major stock market indexes at Karachi Stock Exchange and the Wall Street are at their highest level, but both governments are facing serious financial problems. Most of the countries around the world are facing similar dichotomous situations. So how does one solve the riddle of the corporate sector making record profits while governments around the world are in serious financial jeopardy?

The phenomenon needs to be analyzed at grass-roots level. A shopkeeper from my village comes to mind. He told me that he sells PTCL internet cards grossing about Rs 9,000 every day. There are several other such shops in the village. That means that just in one village, the total sale of PTCL internet cards is up to 50,000 rupees. This consumer item was not present five years ago, which means hundreds of computers have been bought in the village recently. Furthermore, if such luxury products are making such huge profits for village shops, traders throughout the country must be making much larger profits selling essentials every day. One of the indicators of booming business in our village is that the United Bank branch in the village is doing very well, according to its manager.

There are thousands of such villages in the country, and that gives one an idea of the mammoth growth of rural markets. Such an undocumented economy is not even factored in estimating the economic growth of the country. From these supposedly marginal markets, one can extrapolate the profits of the corporate sector in towns and cities.

It may be astounding for some that Pakistan's banking sector is considered fourth in profitability in the entire world. Producers of other major industrial and agricultural products are also making huge profits. Cement, fertilizer, automobile, construction and telecommunication industries are doing extremely well. Other than the textile industry, which has been hit by power shortages, there is hardly any manufacturer or importer/exporter of any kind of goods who is not making money. The stock markets look at the profits of these industries and price them accordingly. Therefore the claims of Pakistan's economic growth are not a fairy tale. The evidence is out there in the market.

The government is also like a large corporation whose income depends mainly on tax revenue. Most of the goods and services (such as roads, defense, education and health) provided by the government are public goods which are not priced directly. The government has to price its public goods through direct taxes on income and sales, or indirectly. Following a certain brand of capitalism, countries like Pakistan and the US are not collecting enough taxes to cover the cost of public goods. They have failed mainly in collecting direct taxes on income. While Pakistan cannot implement an appropriate tax collection mechanism because of corruption, the US has leaned towards favoring high income groups and ended up in a jam. The net result is the same: the rich are getting richer, appropriating most of the new wealth generated....


http://www.thefridaytimes.com/beta3/tft/article.php?issue=20130322&page=9

Riaz Haq said...

Here's interesting data on GDP of Indian states...look at the per capita incomes of Chadigarh, Punjab and Haryana and compare with West Bengal:

Chadigarh Rs. 140,073

Punjab Rs. 78,594

Haryana Rs. 109,064

West Bengal Rs. 55,222

http://unidow.com/india%20home%20eng/statewise_gdp.html

Riaz Haq said...

According to World Values Survey done by two Swedish researchers, India, Jordan, Bangladesh and Hong Kong by far the least tolerant.

In only three of 81 surveyed countries, more than 40 percent of respondents said they would not want a neighbor of a different race. This included 43.5 percent of Indians, 51.4 percent of Jordanians and an astonishingly high 71.8 percent of Hong Kongers and 71.7 percent of Bangladeshis.

Unfortunately, the Swedish economists did not include all of the World Values Survey data in their final research paper. So I went back to the source, compiled the original data and mapped it out on the infographic above. In the bluer countries, fewer people said they would not want neighbors of a different race; in red countries, more people did.

Pakistan, remarkably tolerant, also an outlier. Although the country has a number of factors that coincide with racial intolerance – sectarian violence, its location in the least-tolerant region of the world, low economic and human development indices – only 6.5 percent of Pakistanis objected to a neighbor of a different race. This would appear to suggest Pakistanis are more racially tolerant than even the Germans or the Dutch.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/05/15/a-fascinating-map-of-the-worlds-most-and-least-racially-tolerant-countries/

Riaz Haq said...

Sharp fall in Indian currency against the US dollar and slower economic growth have caused India's GDP for Fiscal  Year 2012-13 to shrink in US $ terms to $1.84 trillion from $1.87 trillion a year earlier. The Indian rupee has plummeted from 47.80 in 2012 to 54.30 to a US dollar in 2013, according to Business Standard. Since this report was published in Business Standard newspaper, Indian rupee has declined further against the US dollar to Rs. 59.52 today. At this exchange rate, India's GDP is down to $1.68 trillion, about $200 billion less than it was in  Fiscal 2011-12.

Meanwhile,  Pakistan's economy continues to struggle with its annual GDP rising just 3.6% to $252 billion ($242 billion at Rs. 100 to a USD exchange rate)  in fiscal 2012-13, according to Economic Survey of Pakistan 2012-13 estimates based on 9 months data. The country is facing militancy and energy shortages impacting its economy.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Dhaka Tribune report comparing Bangladesh, India and Pakistan:

South Asia is one of the fastest growing regions of the world and is home to one-fifth of the global population. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, the three largest economies of the region, hold the key to lifting several millions out of the vicious poverty cycle into economic prosperity. Although traditionally India and Pakistan generated the most interest around the globe,

Bangladesh has come into the spotlight over the past decade with drastically improving social indicators and a growth rate of around 6% throughout the financial crisis and global recession.

So how has the Bangladeshi economy performed over the past decade compared to the Indian and Pakistani economies?

The simplest measure of economic well-being of a country is its GDP per capita which is a measure of the value of total goods and services produced in a country divided by the total population. From the graph below, one can see that all three nations have more than doubled their GDP per capita with India and Pakistan bringing larger absolute increase compared to Bangladesh.

Sadly, Bangladesh continues to remain poorer than India and Pakistan with the gap increasing over the decade and the gaps in absolute terms have more than doubled with India and Pakistan (see graph 1).

A much more dynamic performance of the economy can be seen from observing the trend in the economic growth rate of the three nations. The Bangladeshi economy maintained a near constant growth rate of around 6% throughout the decade compared to the large gyrations in growth rate of India and Pakistan and it managed to do so throughout the global financial crisis of 2008-12.....
---------
Long term growth potential in an economy can usually be seen from gross savings (% of GDP). Gross savings is gross national income and net transfers less total consumption in the economy. Saving in an economy is important as it in turn provides internal fund for borrowing and investment in the economy.

Bangladesh did manage to attain the highest gross savings as a proportion of GDP by 2011. It saved over 30 cents for every $1 of goods and services produced from year to year since 2003. This broadly shows that the country has a large potential to bring about significant investment from its own fund just like India and unlike Pakistan which saw a drastic fall in gross savings over the decade (see graph 4).

However, capital formation has been rather sluggish in Bangladesh despite growth in savings. Gross capital formation (Gross domestic investment) as a proportion of GDP remained constant at 25% throughout the decade unlike India, which increased it significantly. This shows that, in general, Bangladesh has been building less infrastructure and investing less in industries than it can, something that the government needs to take look into account.
--------


http://www.dhakatribune.com/long-form/2013/jul/11/how-does-bangladesh-measure

Anonymous said...

The latest 2012 IQ data published by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen puts mean IQ of Pakistanis at 84 and of Indians at 82.2, and Bangladeshis at 81.

Each country has big std deviations and large positive outliers.

The highest IQs are reported for East Asia (100+) and the lowest in sub-Saharan Africa (just over 70).

https://lesacreduprintemps19.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/intelligence-a-unifying-construct-for-the-social-sciences-richard-lynn-and-tatu-vanhanen.pdf

Bari said...

Pak GDP per cpaita is indeed higher than BD -- but given how fast BD textile sector is developing(still) -- things will look different in 3 years

Riaz Haq said...

Bari: "Pak GDP per cpaita is indeed higher than BD -- but given how fast BD textile sector is developing(still) -- things will look different in 3 years"

Textile growth in BD is the result of US and European cos hopping to cheaper and cheaper locations to exploit extreme poverty and non-existent safety standards---hence the worst ever disasters in BD factory building collapses and fires last year and this year.

Being among the poorest and least developed countries of the world as defined by UN and WTO, BD also gets special preferences called GSP+ for exports.

Riaz Haq said...

The observatory of economic complexity at MIT ranks countries by the level and diversity of trade in terms of products and partners. It ranks Pakistan at 81, well ahead of BD at 104.

http://atlas.media.mit.edu/country/pak/

http://atlas.media.mit.edu/rankings/country/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's NY Times on a company locating sweatshops for cheap garments:

Li & Fung — the most important company that most American shoppers have never heard of — has long been on the cutting edge of globalization, chasing cheap labor to garment factories first in China, then elsewhere in Asia, including Bangladesh.
---------
In Bangladesh, Li & Fung has been tied to several calamities. It arranged the production of clothing for Kohl’s at one factory where 29 workers died in a fire in 2010. It brokered some work at another in 2011 where more than 50 workers who made Tommy Hilfiger clothing were injured and at least 2 died in an explosion and a stampede.

And last year, Li & Fung was responsible for some garments produced at the Tazreen Fashions factory, when 112 workers died in November in a fire after many of them were ordered to continue working even though alarms had sounded.

Such episodes highlight the often hidden role played by sourcing companies in trying to feed the West’s seemingly insatiable demands for ever cheaper merchandise. Worker advocates say that Li & Fung and others make accountability more difficult by adding a layer of insulation between reputation-conscious retailers and often poorly treated workers, allowing businesses to avoid bad publicity and legal liability when things go wrong.

Sourcing companies face an inherent conflict: they are expected to find low-cost factories for clients, but also to blow the whistle if the factories violate safety standards. Some critics say that the scale of Li & Fung’s operations and the speed at which it shifts production from one site to another give owners less incentive to improve their factories and make it difficult for Li & Fung to deliver on its pledges of carefully vetting its suppliers.

“We make our best effort to weed out bad factories,” said Bruce Rockowitz, chief executive of Li & Fung. “But we don’t always succeed.”

Mr. Rockowitz added that Li & Fung employees conduct rigorous on-site audits — unlike many competitors — to ensure that the company does business only with factories that adhere to safety regulations. In the case of Tazreen, Li & Fung had acquired a new subsidiary that placed orders at the factory, but the changes sought by Li & Fung had not been made 11 weeks later when the fatal fire occurred, a company spokesman said....


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/08/world/linking-factories-to-the-malls-middleman-pushes-low-costs.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

HopeWins Junior said...

New Article on 1971:

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2013/11/nixon-kissinger-tapes-east-pakistan.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's World Cement report about cement consumption in Pakistan:

The All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association reported a 10.10% increase in domestic cement consumption in January. The country, which has almost 45 million t of cement capacity, has seen exports fall in recent years as expansion programmes increase capacity in Pakistan’s traditional export markets and new exporters have joined the competition. However, domestic demand is on the rise, hitting an all-time high of almost 24 million t in FY11/12.

January saw domestic sales reach 2.135 million t, comprised of 1.706 million t from the north and 429 000 t from the south of the country. Demand has been pushed by private construction as well as government infrastructure projects, a trend set to continue as the per capita cement demand in the country is well below average at 152 kg.

Energy shortage threatens production

However, a new threat is energy shortages, which the APCMA says hampered production in northern areas last month. The Islamabad High Court recently removed the Rs.50/mmbty Gas Development Infrastructure Cess (GIDC), declaring it illegal. Though this will bring down input costs for cement producers in the south, it is reported that it will have no benefit for the more numerous northern producers, who ‘have now been given least priority for gas supply’ (The Nation, 3 February). Some plants are looking into alternative energy supplies – DG Khan Cement, for example, is set to be one of the first applications for Kalina cycle technology in the cement industry.

Lucky Cement prospers

Meanwhile, Lucky Cement Limited has recorded a 42.15% y/y increase in half yearly profit for 2012/13. As of the end of December, the company reported profits of Rs.4.29 billion and improved net sales of Rs.17.511 billion, up 13.9% y/y. The company reportedly plans to upgrade its existing mills and packing machines to reduce operational costs. More information about the company can be found in the February issue of World Cement in the article ‘Pakistan: Cementing its Position’ from Lucky Cement. Subscribers can download the issue by signing in.

Lafarge appoints new country CEO

Finally, Lafarge Pakistan Cement has appointed Amr Reda as the new country CEO of Lafarge Pakistan. Reda had previously been the regional business controller of Lafarge Middle East and Pakistan and has been on the board of directors of Lafarge Pakistan since January 2007.


http://www.worldcement.com/news/cement/articles/Pakistan_domestic_cement_consumption_rises_854.aspx

Riaz Haq said...

I think JI leader Abdul Quader #Molla's real "crime" was that he opposed the creation of #Bangladesh and supported #Pakistan in 1971 war. There have been very serious concerns by Int'l Bar abt fairness of #Bangladesh courts.

http://www.crimesofwar.org/commentary/bangladesh-a-free-and-fair-war-crimes-tribunal/ …

Sarmila Bose on 1971 pictures of dead West #Pakistanis deliberately mislabeled as #Bengalis:

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1060319/asp/look/story_5969733.asp

UN HR chief Navi Pillay says Molla's trial "did not meet international standards". http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304202204579251920015956990 …

Farhat said...

The military crackdown in EP on March 25 was undertaken to stop the slaughter and rape of non-Bengalis and pro-government Bengalis undertaken by AL militants and to save the federation from breaking apart. While it achieved its short-term objectives, in reality it lost the first battle of united Pakistan. Thereon, it was a downhill journey. Had the military action not been undertaken, the AL with the help of East Bengal Regiments and East Pakistan Rifles and Police together with ex servicemen and armed infiltrators from India would have unleashed its battle plan which was to go into effect on the morning of 26 March to forcibly takeover EP.
Besides addressing political grievances, Yahya Khan went a step ahead of Ayub Khan to address inter-wing economic disparities and gave out categorical orders to narrow down the gap between the two wings. 52.5% resources were allotted to the eastern wing as against 47.5% to West Pakistan. Capital inflow in East Pakistan increased from 40 to 75%, while the investments grew from 39 to 54%. Rs. 231 crores was allocated for development in public sector as against Rs. 190 crores for West Pakistan. The development loans to East Pakistan that stood at Rs. 28.77 crore in 1957-58 increased to Rs. 210.41 crore in 1970-71, that is, an increase of 631%. West Pakistan received only Rs. 126.07 crore loans in that year. Grants in aid from the government to East Pakistan grew from Rs. 7140 crore in 1948-49 to 1958-9 to that of Rs. 293.89 during 1958-59 to 1970-71; that is, an increase of 312%. In case of western wing, the increase was only 202%.
By 1971, East Pakistan had 600 major industries. These included 77 jute mills, 4 paper mills, 2 paper-board/newsprint mills, 20 sugar mills, 42 cotton mills, one huge steel mill, a petroleum refinery, one oil refinery, 2 Rayon mills, about 30 match factories, several oil and vegetable ghee mills, two fertiliser factories, leather tanning factories and a cement plant. Tea production had shot up considerably to the extent that East Pakistan met the needs of West Pakistan at a higher rate. East Pakistan became self-sufficient in sugar, fertiliser and tea and started exporting tea, jute items, tanned leather, paper and newsprint. Sugar production increased from 23000 tons to over one lakh tons in 1970. Out of 23 match factories in the country, 20 were in East Pakistan. Consequently, West Pakistan had become a captive market instead of East Pakistan. In the field of education, there were five universities, three colleges and six schools of engineering, eight polytechnics, five colleges and several schools of medicine, dozens of hospitals and more than 200 degree colleges for arts and science. It had more than 3000 miles of metalled road and its power capacity exceeded 100,000 KW.
Two modern ports were built at Chittagong and Chalna. Besides, a welfare-oriented scheme was put into operation in East Pakistan in middle 1970 by virtue of which commercial banks provided loans to the depressed class. Head offices of the House Building Finance Corporation, Refugee Rehabilitation Finance Corporation and IDBP were shifted to Dacca in 1970. With this kind of development in all the fields at a massive scale, it was indeed preposterous on part of the vested groups within East Pakistan to sing the song of exploitation by West Pakistan. Having laid a sufficiently strong economic base, it would have achieved greater political strength with improved degree of provincial autonomy. By all standards, East Pakistan would have gained by keeping within the federation of Pakistan. Bangladesh’s prosperity owes a great deal to Ayub Khan’s reforms. Barring the hard core Awami League members, even to this day the people of Bangladesh hold Ayub Khan in high esteem.
The falsehood of the manipulated grievances was exposed within the first two years of creation of Bangladesh. The agonising truth dawned upon the people of Bangladesh that they had been cheated and duped by Mujib and AL.

http://paktribune.com/articles/Yahya-Khans-contributions-in-East-Pakistan-243161.html

Riaz Haq said...

As one of the poorest countries as defined by the World Bank, Bangladesh has long enjoyed GSP+ status and it has taken advantage of it. Along with low wages and poor working conditions, GSP+ is an additional reason why Bangladesh has attracted some Pakistani investment in textiles in recent years. However, it's getting difficult for Bangladesh because of several textile disasters and escalating violence.

Bangladesh is now concerned as Pakistan gets GSP+ status from EU. Could hurt BD textiles and garment exports as orders are being cancelled due to continuing unrest.

http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/2013/12/28/10991

Riaz Haq said...

People often compare Balochistan with East Pakistan. Balochistan has nothing in common with East Pakistan.

1. Only a third of the population of Balochistan is Balochi speaking. The Baloch Nationalists are too few number, highly disorganized and deeply divided among themselves. They are no more than a nuisance that Pak military can effectively handle. Besides, almost as many ethnic Baloch people live outside of Balochistan province (in Sindh and Southern Punjab) as in Balochistan, according to Anatol Lieven(Pakistan-A Hard Country)....and they are quite well integrated with the rest of the population in Pakistan. Asif Zardari, the current president of Pakistan, is an ethnic Baloch, as was former President Farooq Laghari and recent interim Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso. Pakistan's COAS Gen Musa was a Hazara from Balochistan.

2. In East Pakistan, there was an election won by Sheikh Mujib with heavy mandate. Nothing like that has happened nor likely happen with a bunch of fractious Baloch tribesmen who represent only a few districts in Balochistan.

3. East Pakistan was split by an outright foreign invasion which is highly unlikely to happen to nuclear-armed Pakistan.

4. Retired US Army Col Ralph Peters is a CIA guy who knows a lot of Balochistan. Here's an excerpt of a Huffington Post Op Ed on Baloch insurgents:

According to Peters, one of the most serious issues with the Baloch independence movement is "deeply troubling" infighting. In fact, he is emphatic in his condemnation of such bickering; going so far as to assert: "they are quickly becoming their own worse enemies."

In his view, individual Baloch simply don't understand that their personal feuding undermines the larger movement: "Certain Baloch fail to understand that their only hope in gaining independence is if they put their own egos and vanity aside and work together. This is the cold hard fact. They are already outgunned and outmanned. Pakistan will continue to to exploit their differences until they realize this."

So long as the Baloch continue to engage in "petty infighting," including "savaging each other in emails," (Ralph) Peters is pessimistic they can garner widespread support in the West. In fact, he warns that such infighting could eventually put off even their staunchest supporters.

As a result, he recommends that the Baloch leadership and activists set the example and halt their public bickering: "The Baloch leaders need to stop their severe personal attacks on each other and others. In the military, we say that you don't let an entire attack get bogged down by a single sniper. But, there are individuals out there who are causing divisions and attacking people. They tend to look at the debate as if you don't agree with me completely then you're my enemy. This undermines their cause."

Until these leaders and activists "support the big picture," Peters offers little hope that the broader Baloch nation will be able to "work together, put aside their deep divide, and unify." This troubles Peters as he confides: "At this point, do I believe they have a good chance of achieving independence? No. But, it would be much higher in the future if they just start working together. It's frustrating that the leaders can't unite."

Peters is also bothered by the Baloch tendancy to blame such infighting on covert operations by Pakistan's military and security services: "The region as a whole tends to blame conspiracy theories. But, I have come to believe that you never accept conspiracies when something can be explained by incompetence..."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eddie-walsh/baloch-pakistan_b_1326421.html

Riaz Haq said...

Feb 1962 @dawn_com news report: East Pakistan (#Bangladesh) (21.5%) beats West #Pakistan (16.3%) in #literacy rate
http://www.dawn.com/news/753508/east-wing-beats-west-wing-in-literacy-rate …

Riaz Haq said...

World Bank's 2012 data show Bangladesh's PPP GDP is $372 billion and Pakistan's PPP GDP at $795 billion is more than twice Bangladesh's.

http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.PP.CD/countries/1W?order=wbapi_data_value_2012%20wbapi_data_value%20wbapi_data_value-last&sort=desc&display=default

Khalid Gorsi said...

Dear Mr. Haq,
Many thanks for such a wonderful blog, it is enlightening and balanced.
"Dead Reckoning" is a book some of the commenters need reading.

Anonymous said...

If both countries economies grow at current levels for the next few years then I think we (Bangladesh) should be able to overtake Pakistan in the next few years.

The estimates for Pakistan for 2014 is $245bn nominal GDP and $576bn PPP while Bangladesh is projected to grow to $175bn nominal and $419bn in PPP for the same year. But since Bangladesh is and has been growing at 6% and Pakistan around half that, a few more years of those respective rates should result in Bangladesh eclipsing Pakistan within a matter of years.

Riaz Haq said...

Economist Magazine: In Britain, Bangladeshis have overtaken Pakistanis. Credit the poor job market when they arrived and the magical effect of London
-----------

In many people’s minds, and often in official statistics, the 447,201 people who called themselves Bangladeshi in the 2011 census and the 1,124,511 who identified themselves as Pakistani are lumped together. And the two groups have much in common. Mass immigration for both began in the 1950s. Both are largely working-class and Muslim. Both tend to vote Labour (see Bagehot). Both are concentrated in one business—restaurants in the case of Bangladeshis, taxi-driving among Pakistanis. But their fortunes are now diverging. And that says something about what it takes to succeed as an immigrant in Britain.

Even during the half-term holiday, the library in Morpeth School in Tower Hamlets is busy with mostly Bangladeshi children. Around three-quarters of the school’s pupils are so poor that they qualify for free school meals. A similar share do not speak English as their first language. And yet, last year, 70% got five good GCSEs, the exams taken at 16—much higher than the national average.

Pakistani pupils do not fare too badly in school either, considering how poorly educated and badly off their parents tend to be. But Bangladeshis overtook them more than a decade ago and have pulled farther ahead since then (see chart 1). Some 61% of Bangladeshis got five good GCSEs in 2014 compared with 51% of Pakistanis and 56% of British whites.

That will help their job prospects. Both Bangladeshis and Pakistanis have low employment rates because so many women do not work. But among the young, Bangladeshis are more likely to be studying or in work. And Yaojun Li, a sociologist at the University of Manchester, calculates that Bangladeshis’ average monthly household income, though still low, is now slightly higher than that of Pakistanis.

Bangladeshis born in Britain are also more likely than their Pakistani counterparts to socialise with people of a different ethnicity, according to another study (see chart 2). Both still overwhelmingly wed within their own ethnic group. But among young men, for whom marrying out is easier, 26% of Bangladeshis now do so compared with 17% of Pakistani youths.

The explanations lie partly in the past. Pakistanis—many of them from the rural Mirpur Valley in Kashmir—began to settle thickly in Britain in the 1960s. They often took jobs in the textile mills of the north and the foundries of the West Midlands.

Most Bangladeshis came later. Many men arrived in the 1970s as refugees, but the peak of migration was in the early 1980s, when the women and children turned up. They thus arrived when British industry was on the ropes—which was oddly lucky, suggests Shamit Saggar of Essex University. Though many were working in the rag trade, they had not committed themselves to one doomed industry. Pakistanis had: they suffered greatly from the collapse of British textile-making.

http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21644155-britain-bangladeshis-have-overtaken-pakistanis-credit-poor-job-market-when-they-arrived

Riaz Haq said...

Bangladesh in crisis by Raza Rumi

The recent political turbulence sweeping Bangladesh has cost more than 100 lives since January and job strikes have brought near standstill to Dhaka, the country’s capital and economic nerve center. Stretching back to independence, the country’s divorce with Pakistan has left a trail of political instability resulting from frequent military interventions, high-profile political assassinations and a dysfunctional democratic order that revolves around two political parties. Atop these bipolar camps are two women known as the ‘Begums’ — the current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of the Awami League (AL) and the opposition leader Khaleda Zia. The former is the daughter of the country’s founder and national hero Sheikh Mujib ur Rehman, and the latter the widow of the first military ruler Gen Zia ur Rehman, who was popular with the conservative sections of society.

---
On January 5, the date coinciding with the first anniversary of 2014 elections, the opposition called for countrywide demonstrations under the slogan ‘Murder of Democracy Day’. The government responded with an iron hand by arresting members of the opposition parties and banning the demonstrations. In reaction, the opposition called for an indefinite blockade of road and railways leading to Dhaka. The demonstrations by the opposition and counter-demonstrations by the ruling AL party have since continued and many have turned violent. The government confined Zia for more than two weeks and accelerated the prosecution of corruption charges against the opposition leader. Members of the JeI have also been pressurized through pending court cases for the party’s support to Pakistan during the 1971 War of Liberation. Since January, 7000 opposition activists and supporters have been detained by the police. More than 100 people have lost their lives during street battles, arson attacks, and bombing of the buses while 20 opposition supporters allegedly died through extra-judicial methods.

Civil society in Bangladesh is deeply worried. The last time such a political deadlock happened was in 2007 when the military intervened. Nurul Amin, a political analyst at North South University in Dhaka, says the hardliners in both camps “think no compromise is possible.” Similarly, Citizens for Good Governance say the two leaders are acting as “partisan authoritarians,” who are dividing the country “into two warring camps.” Human Rights Watch has also expressed concern, saying “violent crimes being committed by some members of the opposition cannot justify killings, injuries, and wrongful arrests by the government.”

Economic and Government Woes

In the midst of this political turbulence, Bangladesh’s economy has been rocked with a communications blockade, urban violence, and a prevailing sense of uncertainty in the country. The hardest hit is the $24 billion a year ready-made garments industry. The supply chain of the industry has been disrupted. The Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) maintains that the garments industry has already incurred a loss of over $3.9 billion while the retail sector may have suffered losses to the tune of $2.1 billion. The agriculture sector of the country has also been affected to the tune of $533 million in recent weeks as farmers are not able to move their products to the cities due to the blockades. Moody’s downgraded the country’s credit rating because of the ongoing political violence.

http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/03/26/bangladesh-on-the-brink/

Bengali said...

(IMF DATA from 1970)
Nominal per capita GDP was:

SRI LANKA $189
PAKISTAN $184
BANGLADESH $134 (then east PAKISTAN)
INDIA $118

https://www.google.com.bd/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&met_y=ny_gdp_pcap_cd&idim=country:BGD:IND:PAK&hl=en&dl=en

Riaz Haq said...

#Indian #Muslims in West Bengal poorer, less literate and less healthy than #Hindus http://m.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/muslims-in-west-bengal-more-deprived-disproportionately-poorer-amartya-sen/article8237670.ece …


Muslims, who form 27.01 per cent of West Bengal’s population, “constitute a very large proportion of the poor” in the State, Professor Amartya Sen said.

He was releasing a voluminous report on the condition of Muslims in West Bengal titled ‘Living Reality of Muslims in West Bengal.’

“The fact that Muslims in West Bengal are disproportionately poorer and more deprived in terms of living conditions is an empirical recognition that gives this report an inescapable immediacy and practical urgency,” Prof. Sen said, releasing the report with long chapters dedicated to education, health, economic conditions and gender of Muslims of Bengal who constitute a majority in 65 of 341 blocks in the State.

The survey — the most extensive one on Bengal’s Muslims — was carried out in 325 villages and 75 urban wards from a sample of 81 community development blocks and 30 municipal bodies. The 368-page report was produced by two Kolkata-based research organisations, Association SNAP and Guidance Guild, in association with Prof. Sen’s trust, Pratichi India.

Low literacy rate
Though the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) has claimed to have played a significant role in the uplift of Muslims in Bengal since 2011, the report points to little improvement in areas such as literacy, health or participation in work. For example, Muslims have a literacy rate seven per cent lower than the State’s average.

“Around five per cent of those who discontinued education admitted lack of motivation as the factor behind dropping out of school as they did not see any future benefits from education,” the synopsis said. However, the report has not named any political party or held any government institution responsible.

In the health sector, the condition of, Muslims is no better and the report observes on the basis of State government data and field-level survey that “when Muslim population percentage increases in the blocks, the hospital facilities dwindle down.”

As a result “almost double the number of hospital beds is available in blocks with less than 15 per cent population share of Muslims in comparison with blocks having 50 per cent or above of (Muslim population).” Such discrimination is underscored in nearly every page of the report.

While in the entire report it was never said the ruling party in the State is responsible for the discrimination against the main minority of Bengal, it is expected to take political colour as it has been released only months before the Assembly elections.

Muslim bodies differ
One of the most well-spread cadre-based Islamic political organisation, Jama’at e Islami-Hind (JIH), West Bengal, which does not contest elections or is affiliated to any political party, believe that Muslims of Bengal have “moderately benefited” during the TMC rule. The media and public relations chief of JIH, Masihur Rahman, underscored how the minorities have benefited during TMC’s rule, without referring to the report.

“Firstly, the number of Muslim students clearing West Bengal Civil Services is much higher than in earlier years. It is 24 this year. Secondly, Aliah University, started during the Left’s time, was given a grant of Rs. 300 crore and many hostels for Muslim girls were built in the districts,” said Mr. Rahman.

Riaz Haq said...

#Drought-hit India's plan to divert Ganges and Brahmaputra river water will hit #Bangladesh hard

India is set to start work on a massive, unprecedented river diversion programme, which will channel water away from the north and west of the country to drought-prone areas in the east and south. The plan could be disastrous for the local ecology, environmental activists warn.

The project involves rerouting water from major rivers including the Ganges and Brahmaputra and creating canals to link the Ken and Batwa rivers in central India and Damanganga-Pinjal in the west.

The minister of water resources, Uma Bharti, said this week that work could start in a few days. A spokesperson from her department told the Guardian that the government is still waiting for clearance from the environment ministry.


India's drought migrants head to cities in desperate search for water
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The project will cost an estimated 20tn rupees (£207bn) and take 20 to 30 years to complete.


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Scientists say the government needs to do a full audit of its existing water resources and analyse the environmental impact of linking rivers before pressing on with its plans.

Dr Latha Anantha, from the River Research Centre, said the project could be catastrophic for India’s river-dependent ecology. “The government is trying to redraw the entire geography of the country,” she said. “What will happen to communities, the wildlife, the farmers who live downstream of the rivers? They need to look at a river not just as a source of water, but as an entire ecosystem.

“They will have to dig canals everywhere and defy the ecology of the country. It is a waste of money and they have overestimated how much water there is in the rivers they want to divert.”

Governments have toyed with the idea of redrawing river routes since the 1800s, when the country was still under colonial rule. The resulting disputes still play out today. The Mullaperiyar dam, which diverted water from the southern state of Kerala to neighbouring Tamil Nadu, was built in the late 1800s, and was considered at the time to be one of the most extraordinary feats of engineering ever achieved. Now, the two state governments continue to dispute control of the dam.

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The river-linking project could lead to further disputes not just between states, but with the neighbouring government of Bangladesh. India’s plans will affect 100 million people in Bangladesh, who live downstream of the Ganges and Brahmaputra and rely on the rivers for their livelihoods. On Monday, Bangladesh’s minister of water, Nazrul Islam, urged the Indian government to take Bangladesh’s water needs into considerationnoting that 54 of 56 Indian rivers flowed through the country.

“India is giving a lot of importance to its own people hit by drought,” he said, “but it must not ignore our rights.”

The Indian water resources ministry spokesperson said: “The Indian government is addressing Bangladesh’s water problems too,” adding that ministers from the two countries had discussed the water issue in the past. “We don’t have the details, but we will ensure Bangladesh gets its share of water too.”

Riaz Haq said...

#India’s growing federal fault lines as huge income disparities grow bigger among #Indian states
http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/m8dMKK12E1qLmtLmBg1zTN/Indias-growing-federal-fault-lines.html

In the year 1960, the per capita gross domestic product (GDP) of Maharashtra, then India’s richest state, was twice that of Bihar, the poorest. By the year 2014, the gulf between the richest state (now Kerala) and Bihar, still the poorest, had doubled. In a recent briefing paper, Vivek Dehejia and Praveen Chakravarty, two senior fellows at the think tank IDFC Institute—the former also a Mint columnist—have thrown into sharp relief India’s inter-state income disparity.

The per capita incomes of the 12 largest states of India, the paper shows, have been diverging instead of converging, as would be predicted by the neoclassical models of economic growth. India’s experience is at odds with those of states/provinces in the US and China, and the member states of the European Union. The incomes of constituent units in the US, China and EU have either converged or at least have not diverged.

In India too, the level of divergence, the authors find, remained static between 1960 and 1990 and only began to increase after the economic liberalization of 1991. The two, however, do not blame the liberalization and justifiably so, as more evidence would be required to make a tenable claim.

India’s inter-state disparity is not just confined to income levels. The states diverge on several other economic, social and demographic indicators. But one particular indicator needs to be mentioned. That is total fertility rate (TFR)—or the average number of children a woman bears during her entire reproductive period. Interestingly, the three poorest states in the Dehejia-Chakravarty analysis are also the three with the highest TFR in India, and in the same order.

http://www.idfcinstitute.org/site/assets/files/10331/indias_curious_case_of_economic_divergence.pdf