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Bangladesh Bank: 13,881 new millionaires in the country despite pandemic

  • Published at 09:10 pm October 12th, 2021
web-Stacks of Bangladeshi taka
Mehedi Hasan/ Dhaka Tribune

This is 16% more than what it was during the same period in 2019, according to central bank data

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, some 13,881 people have joined the ranks of millionaires -- in terms of taka -- in Bangladesh during the last year. 

This is 16% more than what it was during the same period in 2019, according to Bangladesh Bank data. 

The central bank data shows that the number of millionaire bank accounts were 86,037 after June last year, which increased to 99,918 now. 

BB data further reveals 5,646 millionaire bank accounts were added during the Q2 (April-June) while it was only 382 during the Q1 (January-March) of the current year. 

In this regard, Dr Zahid Hussain, former lead economist at the World Bank's Dhaka office told Dhaka Tribune: “The news of the number of millionaires increasing is definitely good. But we have to see if the bank deposits of the middle-class, who were hit hardest by the pandemic, also increased or not.”

He said that the second wave of Covid-19 that hit at the beginning of this year did not do as much harm to the economy as the first one did.

“I believe the April-June data shows a reflection of that,” he added. 

What’s behind the sharp rise in millionaires?

“Businesses using digital platforms rapidly increased during the pandemic. Some landed in jail for illegally running their businesses, but the bank accounts are still being accounted for,” Dr Hussain said. 

The time the data is from is also the time when the digital businesses were expanding in the country. The remittance earnings were also on the rise. 

However, Hussain believes that an increase in the number of millionaires doesn’t necessarily mean economic development. 

“It was seen in the past that, when someone has lots of money in their account, they send some money to their family members’ accounts,” he further said.

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