A decentralized budgeting process could be an effective means of attaining the goal of a democratic budget
Speakers on Sunday underlined the need for peace, equity, job creation, transport service and preparing a participatory budget which will reflect hopes, rights and aspirations of the general people.
They were speaking at a model parliament session tilted “People’s Budget Assembly 2019” held at the Engineers Institutions, Bangladesh (IEB).
Democratic Budget Movement, the parliamentary caucus concerned with national development and the annual budget, Dhaka University Centre on Budget and Policy and Action Aid jointly organized the fifth edition of the event.
They said a decentralized budgeting process could be an effective means of attaining the goal of a democratic budget.
The speakers added, for effective implementation a democratic budget should be based on the opinions of the rural and marginal communities including physically challenged, indigenous, dalits, farmers, weavers and sex workers, RMG workers
“The employment issue should be clearly outlined in the budget. Otherwise, the unemployment rate will keep rising,” said Rashed Khan Menon, MP, also a former social welfare minister.
He said: “The discussion should not only focus on marginal people’s budget. But to bring the equality also, which is clearly underlined in the constitution.
“Around 75% MPs are businessmen, so the budget will gradually favour them. But we should work together and make a positive movement against inequality.”
Chief guest Fazle Hossain Badsha, MP, convener of the National Planning and Budget related parliamentary caucus said: “The national budget should reflect the Dalit, indigenous, differently-abled people and backward communities. The attitude towards them should also change.”
Former Bangladesh Bank governor Atiur Rahman stressed on to make sure that young generation participates in the budget discussion, so their opinions reflect in bringing changes and reduce inequality in the next budget.
“The education sector of the country is so big that the operational expenditures have to be bigger.
“But at the same time, we must invest more on quality education. Because around 40% graduates are unemployed, so we have to invest on teaching-learning quality, curriculum development and enhancing teachers’ ability to teach,” Atiur added.
He said: “We are dreaming of becoming a middle income country, but we are not giving due importance on human development capacity and skilled manpower.
“We have to invest on human development as well. We must also reduce extreme poverty, ensure social security and also secure the food safety. ”
Most of the speakers underscored the need for strengthening the local government institutions for the sake of bringing the grassroots people under all the nation-building process.
They also stressed on ensuring transparency and accountability in the budget implementation sector so that people could obtain total benefits of the budget development
Mujibul Haque Chunnu, MP, Shirin Akhter, MP, Socialist Labour Front General Secretary Razekuzzaman Roton, Bangladesh Communist Party Secretary Ruhin Hosain spoke at the program among others.