Proposed budget’s social safety allocation is not enough: Experts say
Published : Thursday, 16 June, 2022 at 11:19 PM Count : 629
The allocation for the social safety programmes in the proposed budget for FY2022-23 is not enough, experts at a dialogue of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) said Thursday.
The inclusion of pension benefits and interests on saving certificates included in social safety programmes is depriving the lower-income group, they said.
The experts also called for increasing allocation for labour welfare and keeping a portion of industries' or factories' profit for workers.
Dr Famida Khatun, executive director of CPD, chaired the discussion. Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem, research director of CPD, delivered the keynote presentation on the proposed budget, UNB reports.
Planning Minister MA Mannan joined the dialogue as chief guest.
Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Anisul Islam Mahmud, Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Finance Kazi Nabil Ahmed, and former commerce minister Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury attended the discussion.
Mannan said, "The government cannot slash incentives in different sectors suddenly. It will take time."
"The government provides food assistance to the lower income groups through family cards and open market sale (OMS),” he said.
Amir Khosru questioned the transparency of the government's inflation and forex reserves data.
The Bangladesh Bank has so far disbursed $7 billion EDF loans from its reserves.
However, the International Monetary Fund said the central bank overstated foreign exchange reserves by showing the EDF with it.
At the dialogue, different NGOs urged the government to make the grant disbursement process, which also adds to the forex reserves, easier.
At present NGOs are receiving around $700 million as grant.