Poor performance of Bangladesh in tourism promotion


Of all the countries in South Asia, the number of foreign tourist arrivals in Bangladesh is very low. If Bangladesh performs well in attracting foreign tourists, it could earn substantial amount in foreign exchange and also generate employment. The tourist arrivals in South Asia are given below

Country 2011 2012 2013  2014  
Bangladesh 155000 125000 148000 125000  
Bhutan  66000 105000 116000 134000


India 6309000 6578000 6968000 7679000
Maldives 931000 958000 1125000 1205000
Myanmar 816000 1059000 2044000 3081000
Nepal 736000  803000  798000  790000
Pakistan 1161000  966000 NA na
Sri Lanka   856000 1006000 1275000 1527000


It is seen from the above table that Bangladesh receives the least number of international tourists, in spite of the fact that being a fairly large country it has most of the facilities which the tourists require like easy access, beaches, hills, rivers, boating, scenic beauty etc.  What needs to be done is cooperation of Bangladesh inbound tour operators with outbound tour operators of major tourists originating countries like China, United States, Germany, UK etc. as also neighboring countries like India,  Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka. Bangladesh should also seriously make Hindu temples and Buddhist monasteries as places of pilgrimage. Cooperation should also be explored with inbound tour operators of neighboring countries who could send their  foreign clients to Bangladesh for a few days.



The government will procure all the vegetables that could not be sold to the public from producers at a guaranteed price of Rs.10/- per kg for tomato and Rs.15/ per kg for brinjal. Rates will be fixed for other vegetables treating these as base prices. Procurement price for paddy will be fixed at Rs.1800 per quintal. The prices of agricultural produce are very low and unremunerative and there is a need to increase the prices.

The wages of unskilled agricultural and other laborers have gone up from Rs.35 per day to Rs.150 per day in the last few years for women and from Rs.70 per day to Rs.350- Rs.400 per day for men. This is a welcome correction of wage level. The employers have got used to this high wage level. Similarly consumers will get used to higher prices of agricultural produce particularly since our government will provide jobs to all able bodied and willing people by undertaking massive works like digging lakes, canals, wells, laying roads,  power transmission lines, solar power stations, hydro-electric power stations etc.

government would set up a separate Ministry for irrigation. In addition to constructing new dams and canals, this ministry would have the following responsibilities;

i.Linking rivers in the state.

iii.Creating links among lakes and between lakes and rivers.

  1. looking after the Lake management including deepening lakes and continuously desilting them
  2. Creating new lakes to ensure that each village has a lake
    vi. Looking after Water management including draining rain water in pits and other shallow water into the nearby lakes. Water left in pits evaporates and it does not recharge ground water. When lakes have sufficient water, underground water will be recharged.

vii. Keeping the lakes and rivers clean

viii. Cleaning waste water and then using the same for irrigation without letting into the lake. This will ensure that lake water is not contaminated and this water can be used for drinking after purification.

  1. Cleaning river banks and ensuring that no garbage is dumped there
  2. Sanctioning loans for digging irrigation wells including bore wells. If lakes have water, digging wells will not lower the water table. It is wrong to ban new bore wells,
  3. Tamilnadu receives around 100 cm of rainfall per year on an average. If the rainwater is harvested to the maximum extent possible, two- three crops can be raised in most of the places. Tamilnadu will become surplus in food grains under our government.

xiii. While supplying water to people from reservoirs/rivers hundreds of kilometres away is welcome, this is not as reliable a source as local lake water.

xiii. Each district would have a senior water resources development officer with technical staff and with adequate powers to sanction construction of lakes and related work

The per capita production of food grains (rice, wheat, coarse grains and pulses) in India is less than 200kg per year while in the world it is over300 kg. This means that India’s performance in agriculture needs to be improved vastly. In India among the various states, Tamilnadu’s performance is very poor. During 2009-10, India produced 218 million tonnes for a population of around 1180 million. The per capita production is about 185 kg per year. Tamilnadu state produced about 8.0 million tonnes for a population of about 67 million people, which works out to a per capita production of only 120kg per year.

India’s production went up from 176 million tonnes in 1990-91 to 218 million tonnes in 2009-10 which works out to about 24%increase in 20 years. This increase itself is low. But increase in Tamilnadu is very much lower at 8% from 7.4 million tonnes in 1990-91 to only 8.0 million tonnes in 2009-10.

With the policies of our government, agricultural production will increase atleast by 100% in 5 years.

Water is a renewable resource. The ground water automatically gets recharged as it rains and there is no problem in exploiting ground water. There is no question of excessive exploitation as once the water dries underground there can be no exploitation. Moreover, the dangers of flood will be minimized when there are more open and borewells and lakes as the recharge of ground water and lakes will take much of rain water leaving lesser water to flow into the rivers.

Subsidies to farmers will be gradually reduced; if necessary by increasing the prices of their produce.

restrictions on exploitation of ground water will be removed.

To meet the labour shortage in agricultural sector, there will be further mechanization-in sowing, planting, weeding, harvesting, thrashing etc.

Restrictions on farmers and others for removing soil from the lakes for use in fields, brick kilns etc. and the lakes will be removed as this will lead to desilting of lakes free of cost.

While the quantum of rainfall in a year has not changed much, the rainfall has not been timely. In order to ensure timely rainfall, it would be useful to resort to cloud seeding and simultaneously to undertake research on refining the existing technology to achieve lower cost, safety, avoid pollution, avoid lower rains during the period subsequent to cloud seeding. Research by as many universities as are willing would also be funded by the government. Cloud seeding is not new to Tamilnadu, as it had already undertaken several times in the past starting from 1960s in Nilgiris district, though there was a long break after 1960s. Several countries, particularly in Asia like Thailand, China etc are resorting to cloud seeding. Each district would have one organization to undertake this operation. It can be a public or private organization.

Desilting lakes and rivers


Every year silt is deposited in the lakes and rivers. As the silt level increases  the quantum water the lakes and rivers hold decreases. This will naturally lead to floods if the rain is heavy. In the past, farmers and others used to remove soil from the lakes for use in fields and the lakes were  desilted without any effort  or expenses from the government. Now there are avoidable restrictions on removing silt from the lakes.  If restrictions are removed or reduced, many brick kilns will deepen the lakes enabling the lakes to hold more water, thus minimizing /preventing floods and providing more water for irrigation. As regards rivers, sand is deposited in the lakes by the water coming into the rivers. There are more restrictions on removal of sand from rivers.  Government should consider removing these restrictions or   selling the silt and sand to the consumers without any hassle.

Integrating old system with the modern government machinery


The old system of village elders dispensing justice should be integrated with the present day judiciary by introducing jury system. Similarly the services of village elders in the matter of administration of the village should be integrated with the current village administrative system by appointing honorary village munsifs(village administrative officers) and kanakkapillais who used to do the surveying work. The local people should be used extensively in maintaining law and order. Home Guards and Honorary Police officials should form part of the local Police. Village elders should also be involved in maintaining water bodies, augmenting supplies by judically draining rainwater into the water bodies like lakes and rivers, and releasing water for irrigation. People should be actively associated with new projects like production and supply of biogas on cooperative basis, generation of electricity from wastes etc. In short village people and elders should be associated with the activities of the government right from the planning stage. Partly, this will mean more and wider powers for the village panchayats.

Food Security-expansion of irrigation


Total world production of cereals increased from 2353 million MT in 2007 to 2566 million MT in 2012 i.e by 9.1% in 5 years while the population during this period went up by around 6% only. Thus the per capita availability has gone up. What is more important is that in the food deficit Africa the growth rates of food prouction are higher than the world average growth rates.In Africa the increase in cereal production is 25.2% and in roots and tubers 26.4%. Similarly there is considerable increase of around 15% in production of vegetables, fruits, eggs, meat and milk. To sustain this increase, expansion of irrigation is important. Construction of dams, lakes, digging of canals, diversion of rivers should be given priority. Simultaneously micro irrigation like drip and sprinkler irrigation should also be undertaken.

The current per capita production of cereals at 350 kg per year is more than sufficient. The surplus will become more pronounced if feeding animals with cereals is reduced and fodder production is increased.

Enough food grains are produced. Giving buying power to the people will ensure food security.

India – 2014 Elections


Elections to the Indian Parliament are taking place in various parts of the country.The BJP is blaming Congress and Congress is blaming BJP for the ills of the country. The fact is that both the parties while in the government have done what they thought was good for the country.Both of these parties however have failed to grasp that it is not the policies alone which improve the economy. It is the implementation that is very important. For example the Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme could have lead to production of about 400 million tonnes of cereals and made the country surplus in food grains by deepening existing lakes, by digging new lakes, linking lakes with lakes and lakes with rivers. But there are serious allegations that the scheme provides salaries to people but no significant work is done. This is because the people do not work hard and full time. If a country is to progress, its people should be sincere, honest , hard working and committed to the work they are doing. But in India people are not so. If the country is to progress, the people have to change, become honest,hardworking..

There are allegations of corruption among political leaders. The leaders are forced by people to spend a lot of money for getting elected to Parliament/Legislative assemblies. This leads to political corruption.

People expect undeserved assistance from the government. This leads to bureaucratic corruption.

It is thus clear that the ills of the country are due to the people- common people. The first thing that is to be done is to inculcate good values and discipline in the people. Changes of governments and policies alone may not make much difference to the economy of the country unless the policies have a component to compel people to be honest and hardworking.

Water- renewable resource


Serious concerns are expressed on looming water shortages for domestic, agricultural, industrial and other uses as well as “over exploitation of sources of ground water”. These concerns seem to be unwarranted.

Water is a renewable resource. There are news items about a number of places,provinces and countries receivig highest raifall this year, witnessing wettest August, or September etc. The gound water automatically gets recharged as it rains and there is no problem in exploiting ground water. There is no question of excessive exploitation as once th water dries under ground there can be no exploitation. Moreover,the dangers of flood will be minimised when there are more open and borewells and lakes as the recharge of ground water and lakes will take much of rain water leaving lesser water to flow into the rivers.