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Budget FY19: 14.13% for children

  • Published at 06:23 pm June 7th, 2018
  • Last updated at 01:26 am June 8th, 2018
Dhaka Tribune

The child budget was introduced in FY2015-16

Keeping an eye on the development of future generations, the government has proposed a Tk65,650 crore budget for children, who account for around 40% of the country’s total population.

This allocation is 2.59% of GDP and 14.13% of total budget, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said while placing budget for 2018-19 fiscal year at parliament yesterday.  

“We mainstreamed children development in the national planning and budget with the preparation of a Child Budget from FY2015-16. The budget allocation for children is being increased every year.  Our goal is to allocate 20% of total budget for children by 2020,” Muhith said.

He said the government is also emphasizing on child development centres, to ensure safety and children's education for those who risk child labor and early marriage and establish daycare centres for children of working mothers.

“Today’s children will translate our vision – both medium and long term. We are, therefore, implementing multi-faceted programs to create an appropriate environment for physical and mental development of children.”

The government undertook programs like establishing drop-in centres, emergency night shelters, children- friendly zones, open-air schools, and a tariff-free child helpline for underprivileged children.  

The first child budget was placed in FY2015-16, assigning five ministries with important activities pertaining to children rights. The number of ministries has been gradually increased to 7, 13, and 15 respectively in FY2016-17, FY2017-18, and FY2018-19.

The budget of the selected 15 ministries has been increased by 11.7% compared to that of the previous year. 

In the fiscal 2017-18 budget, the government allocated Tk55,900 crore.

The highest child budget allocation like the previous year is for the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education which is Tk22,355 crore, and the lowest allocation is for the Ministry of Labor and Employment , which is Tk120 crore.

Apart from promoting education, the government wants to focus on providing education that helps bring fundamental changes in living standards and creating better learning environment at schools. 

“We believe that if a child starts growing up with the habit of following rules of personal hygiene and maintaining cleanliness of his surrounding,  morality,  discipline  and  responsibility,  life  skills  and mutual responsiveness, it can become an architect of building a happy and prosperous country. The curriculum of primary education should be developed to accommodate these values and training to make it suitable for children,” the finance minister said. 

He also announced building another 1,000 primary schools in areas where there are no schools.

“To ensure the provision of technology-based modern education system, ICT-based community learning centres will be set up in all unions and some selected towns. We plan to set up 64 livelihoods and lifelong learning centres in 64 districts,” Muhith said.