Inequality increases due to government’s lack of care
for carrying out its responsibility
Said Prof Dr. Sugata Marjit
“If inequality is increasing, it is definitely because of the government’s lack of care for carrying out its responsibilities. When distribution (of wealth) worsens and we are happy that income has increased, we are cultivating the wrong notion of welfare. But the task of ensuring equal distribution of wealth would be unattainable in countries where governments promoted favouritism or nepotism.” Prominent Indian Economist Professor Dr. Sugata Marjit said these at a Talk on Inequality and Distribution-neutral Fiscal Policy - Extending Pareto Principle.
BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), BRAC University organised the talk on December 22, 2017 at the city. Scholars, social scientists, renowned economists, academic and experts attended the talk.
Prof Marjit, Reserve Bank of India Professor of Industrial Economics at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta and the former Vice Chancellor of Calcutta University said, A government entertains a wrong notion of welfare as long as it stays happy only with income growth and does not care much about rising inequality in society. He suggested that the government should be careful about growing income as the failure to distribute the growing wealth among the poor might only raise inequality.
Dr. Marjit said, Bangladesh is growing because of not everyone is growing, but because some people are growing. He suggested that the greater income group need to bring under more tax.
Prof Marjit said that it was very important to keep the degree of inequality unchanged as otherwise it might lead to unrests that might be detrimental to international trade and economic change. He told, any major economic change such as growth or international trade is likely to be resisted by people who are adversely affected by them or who seem to be losing out in relation to others and such agitation becomes politically and socially detrimental to the sustenance of such a change. This has been reflected in votes favouring Brexit and in the pattern of political support in recent Presidential elections in the US.
Dr. Salehuddin Ahmed, Professor, BRAC Business School, BRAC University and a former Governor, Bangladesh Bank, chaired the event. He said, Unequal distribution of wealth was what mainly led Bangladesh revolt against Pakistan and eventually won independence in 1971. He also requested the policy makers to take neutral decision for the sake of reducing inequality.