Economists for environ fiscal reform

FE Report | Published: September 21, 2018 11:02:13 | Updated: September 22, 2018 13:45:36

A group of economists suggested on Thursday the government conduct 'environmental fiscal reforms' to ensure 'green growth' in Bangladesh.

They also called for imposing environmental taxes to raise the country's revenue base.

Economists, researchers, environmentalists, development partners and bureaucrats made the recommendations at an annual dissemination event on environmental issues.

Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh (PRI), UKaid, Adam Smith International, International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) and Economic Dialogue on Green Growth co-hosted the programme in the city.

PRI vice-chairman Dr Sadiq Ahmed presented a keynote paper on 'The case of environmental fiscal reforms in Bangladesh' at the event.

He said the government should go for environmental fiscal reforms to ensure green growth of the country.

"Fiscal policy instruments comprising incentive policies-taxes, subsidies, pricing and public expenditure-are weak or absent here," he said.

Such policy reforms can help raise revenues, Mr Ahmed told the programme.

He suggested going for taxation on natural gas, fishery and forestry resources.

Economist Dr Mustafa K Mujeri said, "Green fiscal policy in Bangladesh should be introduced for a sustainable growth."

He suggested imposing taxes on environmental polluters.

Dr Saleemul Huq, environmentalist and ICCCAD director, said people should encourage the government to adopt a 'green fiscal policy'.

Bangladesh has to have a clean, green growth, he added.

Prof Shamsul Alam, member of General Economics Division at Planning Commission, said social inclusion is required for sustainable growth.

"We need green growth. But as long as Bangladesh is in the preliminary stage of growing  economic growth, we have to think about how we'll impose the environmental taxes," he added.

Mr Alam thoughjt some specific sectors should be brought under tax net with environmental fiscal reforms.

PRI chairman Dr Zaidi Sattar presided over the event.

Former finance secretary Siddiqur Rahman Chowdhury and senior economic adviser of Department for International Development Peter D' Souza, among others, also spoke.

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