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Expand social safety net & provide tax reliefs to middle income groups: CPD

Expand social safety net & provide tax reliefs to middle income groups: CPD

 

Dhaka June 16 2022:

 

Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) had earlier emphasised the need for protecting the low and limited earners in the country and focusing on inflation management and restoration of macroeconomic stability by coming out of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth obsession.

To this end, use of appropriate fiscal policy supported by complementary monetary policy had been emphasized by the think tank.

In view of this, CPD has recommended for allowing tax concession to essential commodities at both import and domestic stages.

Provide tax reliefs to middle income groups.

Allocate adequate resources for subsidies for keeping the administered prices of petroleum products, electricity, gas, and fertilizer.

Expand social safety net provisions both in terms of coverage and the amount of per capita allocation.

Besides, the budget for FY23 needed to be innovative in approach, flexibility in allocative priorities and target specific in terms of budgetary measures to address the attendant challenges.

The budget speech could diagnose the symptoms, but failed to prescribe the required medication.

According to CPD, the budget does have some welcoming measures are it had better identified scopes of contexts and challenges.

Expressing accountability is needed by delineating the progress of past promises.

Continuation of fiscal measures to protect domestic industries are required.

Harmonization of tax structure in case of export-oriented industries should be in focus.

Relatively less election-focused budget was proposed for fiscal 2022-2023.

The budget however came short in terms of inflation, commodity price management.

The Budget had least addressed inflationary issues.

Assuring citizens regarding keeping the administered prices at the same level is a must.

Expanding social safety net allocations in view of rising demand is time demanding.

However, the budget is worse as it has welcomed illicit and illegal income and capital flight.

The budget has provided more support to higher income group while keeping the low and middle income groups at bay.

Overall, with its current structure and proposed measures, the budget appears to be insufficient in terms of needed measures.

The budget is incomplete in terms of outlining strategies and inadequate in terms of addressing the present macroeconomic challenges.

Such recommendations were derived from a budget review programme titled Addressing Six Challenges: Measures Proposed and Measures Required’ organised by CPD on Thursday at a city hotel under its Independent Review of Bangladesh’s Development (IRBD) programme.

Khondaker Golam Moazzem, Research Director, CPD, made the keynote presentation while Dr Fahmida Khatun, Executive Director, CPD, chaired the programme.

M A Mannan, MP, Minister for Planning, Government of Bangladesh was the Chief Guest at the dialogue.
Barrister Anisul Islam Mahmud, MP, Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment, Bangladesh Parliament;  Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury, Former Minister for Commerce and  Kazi Nabil Ahmed, MP, Member, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Finance, Bangladesh Parliament were present as Special Guests.

Rizwan Rahman, President, Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) and Shusmita Anis, Vice-President, Bangladesh Employers’ Federation (BEF) took part as Distinguished Discussants.

Economists, Social and Civil Society members, Business Leaders, Different Activists, Researchers and Media, among others, took part in the budget analysis session.

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