Speakers at a budget reaction programme on Monday claimed that the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2018-19 is not favourable for equity and inclusive development.
Sushashoner Jonno Nagorik (SHUJAN) organized the event titled – “Proposed Budget 2018-19: Citizen Thoughts” at the National Press Club.
The participants at the programme stressed on the need of ensuring good governance, accountability and transparency of budget implementation to ensure development of the general people.
Keynote speaker, economist Salehuddin Ahmed, claimed that the proposed budget is not pro-people.
The proposed budget doesn’t carry any special message for the ongoing economic discrimination or for creating employment, said the former Bangladesh Bank Governor adding that, “The proposed budget is to appease some specific classes only”.
Criticizing the level of allocation for some sectors including education, health, roads and transportation, Dr Salehuddin said, these sectors should have been looked at seriously in the budget.
Only financial progress is not enough, physical progress also needs to be ensured for development, he said.
“The target set for National Board of Revenue (NBR) this year is 32 percent more than the last year’s revised budget and this target is tough to achieve. NBR should spread its tax net rather than pressurizing the existing tax payers,” Dr Salehuddin said while insisting on NBR’s capacity building.
Central Secretary of SHUJAN, Dr. Badiul Alam Majumdar claimed that the proposed budget has no direction to improve country’s domestic and private investment which has become stagnant over the years.
Potentials sectors should have been given more significance in the proposed budget, he claimed.
Syed Abu Naser Bukhtear Ahmed, Chairman of the Financial Express, said the class who are affected due to the direct and indirect tax is the middle class people.
Former cabinet secretary Ali Imam Majumder said, without building up the capacity, implementation of Annual Development Programmes (ADP) is tough.
Presiding over the programme, Shujan President Hafiz Uddin Khan said, the protesting character is now missing among the country’s people.
“There should have been much protest against the proposed budget. The allocation for education is decreasing. Relative poverty is increasing day by day. But now-a-days, people don’t protest any price hike, he said.