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Prof Barkat for fixing paddy price at Tk1,200 per maund

  • Published at 11:51 pm May 25th, 2019
Student-paddy fields-tangail
Student harvest paddy in Tangail’s Kalihati upazila on Wednesday, as ripe crops were rotting in field due to high labour wage and low paddy price Dhaka Tribune

The BEA proposed an over Tk12 lakh crore alternative budget

Bangladesh Economic Association (BEA) President Prof Abul Barkat has said the price per maund of paddy should be fixed at Tk1,200, so that farmers do not have to count losses.

The renowned economist made the remark while placing an alternative budget of Tk12,40,090 crore for 2019-2020 fiscal year, at a press conference at the CIRDAP auditorium in Dhaka on Saturday.

"Farmers do not get fair prices for their paddy. They counted a loss of Tk500 per maund of boro paddy this year. The price of paddy should be fixed at least at Tk1,200 per maund," he said.

On behalf of the BEA, he also proposed a revenue income to the tune of Tk1,002,510 crore, where 69% will come from direct tax and the rest from indirect tax, reports UNB.

Abul Barkat expressed hope that the alternative budget will be a foreign debt-free one, although there is a deficit of Tk237,580 crore.

He also said they have identified 20 new sources of revenue.

"The government can fetch an additional Tk95,000 crore from three sources - preventing money laundering, recovering black money, and wealth tax." 

The BEA chief proposed the highest allocation of Tk284,500 crore for education and technology.

He proposed an allocation of at least 5% of the GDP in the education sector, to resolve the unemployment problem. 

"Around three million people enter the labour market every year, but two million of them do not get jobs," he said.

He also prioritised administration, transportation and communication, power and energy, health, social safety and welfare.

Abul Barkat also put emphasis on keeping aside Tk3,000 crore in the budget for agriculture and the farmers of the country.

He also said the government can earn additional revenue of Tk2,500 crore from cigarettes, Tk1,000 crore from bidi, and Tk1,000 crore from other tobacco products.