Nothing for mid-income group in budget: CPD

Bangla Tribune Report
Published : 13:30, Jun 14, 2019 | Updated : 14:05, Jun 14, 2019

CPD`s Distinguished Fellow Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya addresses a post-budget press conference at Lakeshore Hotel in Dhaka’s Gulshan on Friday, June 14, 2019.Describing the sector wise allocations in proposed budget for the next fiscal as ‘unbalanced and inconsistent’, private think tank Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) said it will only ensure facilities for the high-income group.
Its formal reaction came a day after Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal presented a Tk 5.23 trillion expenditure for fiscal 2019-20 in parliament. The figure is an increase of 18 percent from the revised budget of the outgoing fiscal year.
Addressing a post-budget press conference on Friday (Jun 14), CPD’s Distinguished Fellow Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya said that Bangladesh becoming a mid-income state depends on what is being and would be done for the mid-income group.
“It lacks better facilities for the middle-income people. There are no clear directions over the matter,” he said at the event held at Lakeshore Hotel in Dhaka’s Gulshan.
The proposed budget also failed to reflect the Awami League’s 2018 electoral pledges, according to Debapriya.
“It will go in favour of the people who are beneficiary of economic misrule and it is a matter of our grave concern,” he added.
The emerging challenges in the economic management were largely unaddressed too in the budget, says the private think tank.
It also urged the government to bring transparency in a number of parts of the proposed budget, including taxes, allocations and expenditures.
The proposed national budget for FY20 has largely focused on infrastructure, along with a major push to scale up social safety net and other nationally important projects.
CPD’s Debapriya, however, described the idea of spending on infrastructure to prop up the GDP as “prehistoric”.
In his maiden budget speech posted on the finance ministry’s website, Finance Minister Kamal made a series of pledges to spur economic growth. In the proposed budget, the GDP growth is projected at 8.2 percent for FY20. Kamal hopes to keep the inflation target below 5.5 percent in the new fiscal year.
Of the Tk 5.23 trillion, the proposed budget sets out a revenue target of over Tk 3.77 trillion. More than Tk 3.25 trillion is expected to come through the National Board of Revenue.
The budget deficit will be kept at 5 percent of the gross domestic product.
The government has already approved the Tk 2.03 trillion Annual Development Programme, which is 17.18 percent higher than the revised ADP of the outgoing fiscal year.