Greentec Foundation, a local NGO, organized the discussion
The government has been urged to specify the amount which will be allocated for the blue economy sector in the national budget of the fiscal year (FY) 2019-20.
This was recommended at a “Pre-Budget Discussion” on blue economy at the Blue Economy Cell of the Energy Division at Petro Centre in Kawran Bazar, in the capital on Tuesday.
Greentec Foundation, a local NGO, organized the discussion. Prof AKM Saiful Majid, vice chairman of GreenTech presided over the program.
Speakers at the discussion claimed, due to lack of adequate budget, the sector has lagged behind.
They said it is time to raise awareness on the matter and take proper initiatives to extract resources from seas for the growth of Bangladesh’s economy.
They recommended the government to keep a provision of allocation in this sector for effective utilization of the potentials of blue economy.
Dr Atiq Rahman, executive director, Bangladesh Centre for Advance Studies (BCAS) said: "We have a huge blue economy potential and the door is just opening.
“This is high time to take proper action plan and make it successful. But it requires a lot of knowledge which we are yet to gain.”
“The relevant four ministries ( Ministry of Foreign Affairs , Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources and Ministry of Shipping) and 26 sectors which have been identified to exploit the potentials of blue economy in Bangladesh have to work in an integrated way to utilize the potentials of Blue Economy in our country”, he added.
Md Jobaer Alam, chairman of Oceanography department at Dhaka University (DU) said: “It is very much important to create real oceanographers for practical and effective use of this economy.
“We are trying our level best to teach our students in this regard at out department. This is all about a practical knowledge but because of inadequate budget, we can only provide theoretical knowledge to our students now.”
“In absence if adequate funding, education and research in this field will not come to any use for the ocean economy in any way”, he added.
Khorshed Alam, deputy secretary of Planning Ministry said the policymakers are always interested in promoting blue economy.
"But it is unfortunate that the Planning Ministry have not been approached with any suitable project from any ministry to allocate fund for this economy," he added.
Golam Shafiuddin, additional secretary, Blue Economy Cell of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources said: “The parliamentary standing committee on energy and mineral resources has recommended a permanent setup to the cell. That recommendation is being processed at the moment.”