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Bangladesh - 3 weeks ago

Budget does not meet expectations of people

Staff Correspondent: The budget does not meet the expectations of the general public. The main budget of the next financial year 2024-25 will be how to restore the stability of the macro economy. How to face those challenges and recover the economy. The executive director of CPD Fahmida Khatun said these things in a policy dialogue meeting.
A survey report on the budget was released on the occasion. It is said that 89 percent of people support the initiative of people’s thinking about the budget. But 64 percent or two-thirds of people say they have no expectations about the budget.
According to the results of the survey, 2,249 people’s Google Form opinions and 8,048 social media re-actions were taken into consideration.
In the survey, 21.57 percent of people wanted decent employment, 17.51 percent wanted quality education, 12.09 percent wanted social security.
It is further informed that 17.67 percent of the people of Char area have given priority to employment and 15.38 percent to education. 60 percent employment among children, 35.71 percent reduction in commodity prices in Haor areas, 27.27 percent reduction in commodity prices in slum areas, 20.35 percent among women spoke of women empowerment. Fahmida Khatun said that tax management should be improved. Those who are paying taxes are being taxed. They are often harassed. Many people are not paying taxes, they are evading taxes. Besides, money is going abroad. In the tax structure, direct tax is a tax on direct income, which is 30 percent of the total tax. On the other hand, indirect taxes such as VAT and duties are 70 percent. Change must be made here. Weaknesses may exist, and steps must be taken to acknowledge them.
Dr. Debapriya Bhattacharya of CPD said that there is a very complicated political and socio-economic situation. The geopolitical situation is also complicated. Keeping the budget in mind, we have taken social and ground views. There is a triad of problems in the economy. Among which the major problem is high inflation. The economy is still hyperinflationary. This is true for rural or urban and food and non-food products. So, the first problem is uncontrolled inflation, which is hurting people’s living standards. Second is the debt situation. The government borrows twice as much money from domestic sources as it borrows from foreign sources. Its debt situation bears a different indication. The third problem is the recent slowdown in the trend of growth. Along with this, tax collection is shrinking.
He said inflation in the country is still around 10:10, which is reducing people’s purchasing power. Inflation has a direct impact on the consumption, education and health of the backward people. Child marriage is increasing due to these reasons. In the current situation where inflation is decreasing in the world, but that benefit is not being given to Bangladesh.
Regarding the GDP, he said that 37 percent of GDP is government debt and private sector debt is 5 percent. 42 percent of the total is debt. As a result, there is pressure on the exchange rate. Currency is depreciating. Until now, I used to say that Bangladesh never defaulted on foreign loans, but in the current situation, the government is unable to pay the loan amount. The amount of which is at least 5 percent. And the GDP rate is 4 percent, but above the target of 7 percent. To achieve that, the GDP rate should be above 10 percent in the remaining period. Its implementation is impossible. Because investable assets have decreased, on the other hand private sector or foreign investment is not coming.
Referring to the summary of the research, Debapriya said, people emphasized on three things. First is decent employment, second is quality education and last is social security. Inclusive society by reducing discrimination of backward people came at number four. The budget should be sensitive to the lagging people, they should be given importance. The issue of environment and climate should be given importance. I say whatever the budget, its implementation should be proper. To whom two rupees should go, let it go to him.
Parliament has a standing committee on budget, let them meet. Such a meeting was not seen in the previous Parliament. Apart from this, the finance minister has to present the economic situation to the parliament every three months. He also commented that this has not been seen before.
Care director Tony Michael said clean water is a basic human need. Water salinity is increasing in Khulna, Satkhira and Teknaf. The state should provide clean water for the citizens. We have not yet become Ethiopia or Niger where our people have to travel 5-7 kilometers to collect drinking water.
Environmentalist Sharif Jamil said that the capacity of government regulatory agencies needs to be increased. Need to focus on environment, forest or industry. But the allocation to these ministries has decreased in the budget. When disaster strikes, it must be managed. I understand the impact of what we have done.

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