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Budgetary reform for sustainable development in BD urged
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Budgetary reform for sustainable development in BD urged

Dhaka, June 21 – Sushashoner Jonno Nagorik (Shujan), a civil society platform of Bangladesh called for budgetary system reform for sustainable development.
The platform recommended the budgetary system be reformed to effectively impact the country’s sustainable development at roundtable programme held at Jatiya Press Club in Dhaka yesterday (Friday).
Shujan said in its reaction to the proposed national budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year that there is a lack of practice of accountability and democracy in maintaining the budgetary system. The system should be reformed.
Dhaka University development studies professor Rashed Al Mahmud Titumir in his keynote speech said there is no practice of accountability in the budget system of Bangladesh. After the announcement of the proposed budget, its amendment was done through a bureaucratic system without anyone being informed.
He said the government targeted revenue generation of Tk 3.41 lakh crore through tax in FY 2019-20, which was 75 per cent up from FY 2017-18.
The proposed budget also targeted revenue through VAT of Tk 1.105 lakh crore for FY 2019-20.
“When only 10 per cent of people pay income tax, the government has to rely on VAT to generate revenue, which will be a huge burden for lower and middle-income people,” he said.
The VAT generation has been increased by 380 per cent since 2009-10, he added.
He said the government must find ways how the tax measures could be taken based on individuals’ income, but the dependence on VAT would create more discrimination because all people have to give a similar amount of VAT for buying commodities be them poor or rich.
M Hafiz Uddin Khan, president of Shujan said the fiscal policy should be based on the three fundamental aspects of the independence equity, human dignity and justice for good management of the economy.
He said parliament did not discuss the issues of common people in the budget but when the independent economists analyse the issues the government never bother about them.
Eminent economist Professor Anu Muhammad said the trend of collecting tax directly from people is going up and it has increased six times over the last 10 years.
He also suggested the government to introduce January-December or April-March as the fiscal year instead of June-July to boost the development works.
The budgetary funds are wasted due to the beginning of the fiscal year from June-July and development work is also hampered because of monsoon, he said.
Shujan secretary Badiul Alam Majumder said before taking any project in the budget, there should be an analysis of the particular project whether it was beneficial for the people or not.
He said development should be meant the development of the condition of commoners but the budget was not addressing the raising of income inequalities. – Staff Reporter

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