Aspiration for inclusive development reflected in the Budget

Aspiration for inclusive development reflected in the Budget
Dr. Atiur Rahman

Former Governor of Bangladesh Bank and Chairperson of Unnayan Shamannay, Professor Dr. Atiur Rahman believes that policy attention towards the broader people as well as intention of pacing up the journey of inclusive development have been clearly reflected in the Budget for FY 2019-20. Strong political will is required to translate these commitments in to action.

He said, “In this year’s budget, on the one hand, new VAT law and changes in the tax system have been introduced keeping the resource constraints in mind. Different innovative initiatives are also proposed with a view to confront poverty, create employment, and attract investment on the other.” He said this today (03 July 2019) at a National Policy Dialogue titled “Budget 2019-20 and Inclusive Development” organized by Unnayan Shamannay at Banglamotor, Dhaka. Dr. A K Enamul Haque (Emeritus Fellow, Unnayan Shamannay),
Toufiq Ahmed Chowdhury (Former Director General, BIBM), Dr. Nasiruddin (Former Chairman, NBR), Nilufar Ahmed Karim (President, Women Entrepreneurs Association Bangladesh), Moushumi Islam (President, Association of Grassroots Women Entrepreneurs, Bangladesh (AGWEB)), Dr. Zulfiqar Ali, Dr. M. Yunus and Dr. Nazneen Ahmed from BIDS and Dr. M. Abu Eusuf (Professor, Dhaka University) were present at the dialogue. Representatives from different research organizations, non-government development organizations, entrepreneurs’ association were also present. Toufiq Ahmed Chowdhury said that dealing with the problems created in the banking sector due to nonperforming loans is the call of the hour. There is no alternative to ensuring autonomy of Bangladesh Bank to do so. Dr. Nasiuruddin emphasized on enhancing capacity of the NBR so that they may collect taxes more efficiently.

Professor Eusuf said that it has to be acknowledged that Bangladesh has done a
great job bringing down aggregate poverty. However, there are certain parts of the country where high poverty rates still persist. These areas should be prioritized in development planning and resource allocation. While presenting the keynote paper, Dr. Atiur Rahman pointed out that the economy of Bangladesh is indeed going through its ignition phase. If it can potently face the challenges of creating employment, attracting investment, increasing agricultural production, and dealing with climate change, we can surely attain the desired national macroeconomic objectives. Realizing our potential relies greatly on massive digitization, expansion of SMEs, growth of the private sector and ensuring green growth. For
this, on the one hand, we must continue this journey of inclusive development and on the other, fundamental reforms have to be made to ensure economic stability and good governance.