Published in The Financial Express on Monday, 15 June 2015.
Thrust on efficient revenue management
Speakers at a post-budget discussion on Sunday stressed the need for increasing efficiency of revenue management and bringing more people under tax net to finance the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2015-16.
They said full and proper implementation of the budget would be a big challenge for the government and the efficient revenue board could make a significant contribution to this effect while combating corruption, ensuring transparency and accountability are also equally important.
Involvement of local government bodies needs to be ensured at every stage of development work to achieve the fiscal target of 7.0 per cent growth, they added.
Sushasoner Jonny Procharavizan – SUPRO, a national network of grassroots NGOs in Bangladesh, arranged the discussion at the conference room of the ministers’ hostel in the national parliament.
State Minister for Finance and Planning MA Mannan attended the discussion meeting as the chief guest. Chairperson of SUPRO Ahmed Swapan Mahmood moderated the programme.
Presenting a position paper, Supro Campaign Coordinator Sakera Nahar said the national budget will have clear indication on how to achieve the average economic growth of 8.0 per cent as projected in the five-year-plan for ensuring poverty alleviation and sustainable development.
“And the government should provide utmost priority to agriculture and rural development and human resource development sector to reach the growth target,” she said.
Speaking as the chief guest, State Minister for Finance and Planning MA Mannan said Bangladesh is a country of natural calamities where lack of technology and high child mortality rate still persist. “Everybody should come up with their helping hands in this connection. Making law is the key responsibility of bureaucrats and we should assist them without any fear,” he said.
Identifying corruption and waste of resources as main problems of the budget, the state minister said it would not be possible to fully implement the budget for the FY’16 without resolving these problems.
Speaking as the key discussant, Additional Research Director of CPD (Centre for Policy Dialogue) Golam Moazzem said there is no alternative to district budget for a strong and effective local government.
“But unfortunately, this budget (for FY’16) did not mention anything regarding the district budgeting,” he said.
Talking about VAT (value added tax), he said the government should expand the tax net rather raising VAT as it is not possible for all to pay 15 per cent VAT. He also focused on increasing allocation on human resources development and education sector.
Mir Shawkat Ali Badshah, vice chairman of Parliamentary Caucus on National Planning and Budget, and Nazmul Haque Pradhan, general secretary of Parliamentary Caucus on National Planning and Budget, were also present.