Environment, climate sector gets only 4pc budget allocation

Environment, climate sector gets only 0.4 pc budget allocation

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Dhaka, June 11 – Despite the huge importance of ecology and environment for sustainable development of the country, the finance minister has proposed only 0.4 percent allocation of the total budget of 2018-19 fiscal year for the environment, forest and climate ministry. The green activists have criticised the finance minister’s budget proposal for giving the environment sector less importance in 2018-19 FY’s proposed budget allocation.
The speakers made the criticism while speaking at a roundtable on ‘proposed budget analysis, environment-friendly budget and management’ held in city’s POBA (Poribesh Bachao Andolan) office yesterday.
POBA general secretary and former additional director general of the department of environment Abdus Sobhan presented the keynote paper at the roundtable.
Among others, POBA chairman Abu Naser Khan, POBA joint secretary Dr Lelin Chowdhury, Bangladesh Nirapad Pani Andolan chairman Engineer Anwar Hossain, Nari Moitry’s Shirin Akhter, Bangladesh Juba Samity president Akhter Hossain, Pushpashaha Pukur Raksha Committee president Nasir Khan Pintu, Talent Promotion Initiative president Abdul Mannan also spoke on the occasion.
According to green activists, only Tk 1,269 crore has allocated for the environment, forests and climate ministry in 2018-19 FY’s proposed budget, which is not adequate budget to combat the impact of climate change issues.
“Environment and ecology are very important for sustainable development of the country. But the country’s environment and ecology are under threat due to grabbing of rivers, filling up the wetlands, pollution, deforestation, hill cutting, unplanned urbanization, industrial, water and air pollution, excessive use of pesticides, adulterated food and excessive extraction of groundwater,” Abu Naser Khan said.
Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change across the world, he said, adding that the government should be given importance on environment sector considering the impact of climate change.
He further said protection of environment and ecology doesn’t depend only on the ministry of environment, forest and climate.
“All the ministries and departments are responsible to protect the whole eco-system including its development. The concerned ministries and departments ignored the environmental issues and recommendations during implementation their projects despite considering the environmental issues in every project,” Khan said.
Abdus Sobhan in his keynote paper said that the allocation proposed in the 2018-19 budget is totally inadequate for the environment ministry.
“There is no DoE offices in 43 districts in the country. Despite offices in 21 districts—but these offices are still suffering from manpower and adequate equipment to conduct a test on various issues like water quality and waste in different rivers,” he said.
Besides, there is no specific guideline to preserve the forest and extension in the proposed budget, Sobhan said, adding, “huge forest areas in Cox’s Bazar has destroyed for Rohingya camps—but the finance minister didn’t give any concrete directive in the proposed in this regard.”
The government has formed a climate change trust fund in 2009 but a huge quantity of money has been misused from the fund in the name combating climate change issues, he alleged.
The green activists have demanded of the government to increase the budget to control pollution caused by industrial waste, e-waste and medical waste. – Staff Reporter

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