Is it a mega budget with mega projects?
Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed
Meanwhile the proposed budget has been presented in the House of Parliament and it will be passed by the Parliament at the end of June 2017. Budget, What matters for? Is budget size or fiscal year a matter? Today’s Bangladesh is a country of emerging economy. So, its budget size is not a factor. But how it is handled or implemented, this matters. Fiscal year, the other side. again is a matter to some experts or analysts. So fiscal year may be changed as a test case.
In every year, budget is forecast with aims to promote growth rate, equal distribution of wealth, to reduce money inflation, poverty alleviation, income generation, employment creation etc.
Bangladesh is mainly an agricultural based country. The amount of allocated money shown in the proposed budget for this sector seemed to me not rational. For modernization of agriculture this amount of money is not adequate to meet the actual demand. In reality farmer’s interest will be ignored. So how could we say that it is a people- centric budget? However this sector’s allocation need to be addressed and reviewed by enhancing its budget volume with subsidies in fertilizer, insecticides and purchase of modern agricultural equipment. Through this budget, farmers may not die but they will only survive. Quality of their livelihood may not be changed by this budget.
Again, through the mega projects like Rupgonj Power plant, Railway and road transport sector projects may help the country to achieve its sustainable development goal and by which the vision 2021 will be in a process to be materialized. Again we have the dream of achieving developed nation by 2041. So if we do not sow the seeds from now it will be difficult to attain the goal of 2041. So these mega projects are the beginning of our journey towards a developed nation.
Some key points of the budget speech delivered by the honorable finance minister are noted to clarify our ambiguity or confusion:
Interest rates will fall gradually and nominal exchange rate will remain sta-ble;
Internal absorption will increase significantly in comparison to the previous year due to increased consumption and investment expenditure.
the central bank will continue to pursue supportive monetary and credit policy;
Tax-revenue will increase by 1.7 percent of GDP Tax net will be expanded and the new Value Added Tax law will be implemented. Tax exemption and tax holiday facilities will be withdrawn gradually;
Foreign aid disbursement will increase;
Recovery of global output growth will continue and exports and remittances targets will be achieved;
Over and above, people’s perseverance and peasants’ and workers passion for work will help sustain political stability.
The hon’ble minister has mentioned some strategic points of the budget policy which are very substantial to promot the budget activities vibrant and uphold a real budget image. They are as follows :
Manage aggregate demand in the short term and bolster production capacity in the long term through formation of public capital;
Implementation of development projects and ongoing initiatives for improving legal and institutional capacities for mobilizing domestic resources will be strengthened;
No debt will be incurred to meet the current expenditure of the government. Rather, all resources from public borrowing will be spent for development activities;
Budget deficit will be kept at a reasonable as well as tolerable level.
Targeted redistribution programmes will be continued for people of all walks of life to share growth benefits;
Eco-friendly growth will be encouraged to ensure sustainable development.
If all above statements which have been depicted in honorable minister’s speech are enacted properly, people will be benefited and the country will not face any crisis. If there is a problem of coping with the minister’s speech that mentioned above and the practical situation of economy, people may see different picture and country may face difficulties and crisis of budget deficit.
We were threatened about padma Bridge. The World Bank adopted a tricky device to befool us. But we could withstand all the oppositions. Finally our honorable prime minister took initiative to finish it by our own resources and local currency. This proves that if there is a will, there is a way. Again we can say that, good intention never goes in vain. This is the sign of good governance of our honorable prime minister.
We want to reiterate that our efforts and endeavors in ensuring professionalism, transparency and accountability will be tireless. We once again vow to uphold ethical values at any cost. Accountancy projects a clear picture on country’s fiscal activities and assists in ensuring corporate good governance.
In the financial sector of our country, ICMAB has a major role to play. Rightly so the institute is pro-active in creating awareness, generating ideas and thoughts, promoting transparency and accountability not only in its own area but also in overall economic affairs of the country We believe we have been able to bond good ties with all related Government, autonomous or regulatory bodies. We are in touch with NBR, Bangladesh Bank, BSEC, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Commerce, LGRD and others. We are ready to work with them in any matter related to training or for the cause of national interests.
In addition of the above review, I opine and suggest in line with the common sense of the comon people.
Every year budget comes, budget goes. Budget should speak the good of the common people. Budget must reflect the interest of the have not’s, education for all, to reduce discrimination of the poor and the rich. If the poor become poorer with the systematic problem of the budget, the soundness of the budget will be lost. Benefit must go to the court of commoners. Budget must have its vision. It must widen the quality of lives. General livelihood might be enhanced. It can’t be invisible. It must not be kept in papers or limited to four walls. It must be made target oriented with group of skilled manpower & experts. Its implementation must be made honest and transparent with good leadership, coordination and planning.
In the implementation stage, there should be a thorough monitoring and supervision. After that it is to be evaluated with its repeated exercise. Again all ADP budget should be well examined, scrutinized, investigated properly by a panel of experts.
Finally budget execution must be maintained with proper discipline, sincerity, top most honesty and purity. Budget should not be declared as a govt. budget. It must be termed and reflected as peoples’ budget. No pilferage should be allowed to direct it in a bad shape. If there is strong coordination, good governance and capability to manage a budget will appear befitting and can reach its goal with its efficient management. And in the long run, budget will be result oriented.
Deputy Director General & Commandant (PRL), Ansar-VDP Academy, Safipur, Gazipur.