This budget does not say anything about the backward population and the informal sector, he says
The incentives in the budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year are not sufficiently linked to the creation of jobs for the new poor due to the pandemic, said Debapriya Bhattacharya, convenor of Citizen's Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh.
He made the remark on Sunday at a virtual press conference titled “National Budget 2021-22: What is there for the disadvantaged people."
This budget does not say anything about the backward population and the informal sector, said Bhattacharya, adding that all that has been proposed is for the formal sector.
“The kind of steps that were needed in the health, education, social security sectors to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are thin in the budget,” he added.
Bhattacharya further said that due to coronavirus, 15-20 million people have become poor in the country. No initiative has been taken for these people in the budget of the next financial year.
The prominent economist said the country's processing industry would be the biggest beneficiary of the tariffs and tax exemptions given in the budget.
“This will benefit the export sector,” he added.
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“There are so many initiatives about the entrepreneurial class, but nothing for the consumer class. There is nothing for the lower class or lower middle class. There was an opportunity to provide income tax exemption. There were opportunities for education and health. The benefits provided to the private sector will not increase employment.”
Overall, the situation is uncertain — the government's statement for poverty alleviation is not right, he added.
“There is no assessment of the amount of wage labor that will result from the tax exemption. The government is stuck in the traditional youth training and there has been no labor survey for five years,” he also said.
Bhattacharya said, however, that the budget has good initiatives for women.