Distinguished Professor Dr. Ali Riaz urges for a robust stimulus plan to address the potential fallout of coronavirus (COVID-19) on Bangladeshi economy. Taking part in a webinar of the South Asia Center of the Washington, D.C.-based Atlantic Council, Riaz said that Bangladesh government’s actions thus far are halfhearted and piece-meal at its best and negligent at its worst. These are not likely to benefit the most affected.

Riaz, who is also a nonresident senior fellow of the Atlantic Council, joined south Asian experts on April 1 to assess the potential impacts of the COVID-19 on south Asia. The webinar was titled ‘South Asia’s economic outlook in the era of COVID-19.

Riaz said that the like India, Bangladesh is facing the catastrophe at a very difficult economic time. He noted that it will have serious impacts on the low and middle income people. Riaz wrote for the Atlantic Council that “the Bangladesh government must set it priority in earnest and act expeditiously. It should consider ways to ensure that money reaches the people who need it most. It is also imperative that these measures are administered with transparency and accountability which, unfortunately, the government sorely lacks.”

Riaz has also contributed to an expert brief published by the council analyzing the current efforts of these governments and the potential economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic on south Asia.

Riaz penned a commentary exploring the global impacts of the coronavirus. The commentary titled “COVID-19: The era of perpetual emergency and the emerging new normal?” was published in the Daily Star on March 25, argues that a new global order may emerge as a result of the pandemic. He warns that states may use the crisis as an opportunity to amass emergency power. Whether these emergency measures will become permanent and curtail fundamental rights of the citizens.