Thursday, 7 July, 2022

Budget 2022-23

Proper use of allocation matters

Proper use of allocation matters

Finance Minister Mustafa Kamal on Thursday unveiled the country's 51st annual budget amounting to Tk 678,064 crore, the biggest ever budget the country has ever witnessed. He has set the GDP growth target at 7.5 per cent which we believe is quite achievable. Allocations for the agriculture, education and health sectors have been increased, but the government will have to make quality and timely use of whatever fund has been allocated to the sectors. The agriculture sector got the second-highest priority in the budget. This has been done because of its importance in ensuring food security. But, it is regrettable that machinisation in agricultural sector has not yet taken place as expected. Besides, farmers in general are deprived of fair price of their produces. One of the reasons is high cost of labour during crop harvesting season. Peasants are likely to get better price of their crops once agriculture gets mechanised.

We appreciate the minister for his proposition to decrease prices of agri-machineries that will pave way for rapid modernisation of agriculture. Similarly, 14.7 percent of budget allocation has been earmarked for education and technology. Education is the backbone of a nation. No nation can make progress without education. It is time to pay more attention to research activities in higher education. Primary education is the foundation-laying level of education. The Ministry of Education is duty-bound to ensure quality education at all levels. But what we observe in reality is painful indeed! It distributes free textbooks to school students on the first day of the New Year. But the contents of the books are usually full of errors.

What will the green hearts learn from these textbooks? The relevant authorities should take note of it seriously to rectify the mistakes. Likewise, steps should be taken to eliminate the irregularities being pursued in health sector. At a public hospital, a patient is entitled to get free medicine along with a prescription at a nominal rate. But, the patients are hardly provided with free medicines which are always sold to drug stores outside the government hospitals. What is alarming is that fake medicines are sold in medicine shops. The government must have to tighten its grip over unscrupulous drug traders and dishonest government employees to achieve success in its 'Health for All' campaign. Without strict measures, any amount of budgetary allocation will be of little use.