The Financial Express

Budget Reaction

Planning Minister Mannan admits limitation in budget execution

Planning Minister Mannan admits limitation in budget execution

Planning Minister M A Mannan on Sunday admitted the existing budget implementation limitation, saying the government is pursuing necessary reforms to overcome the situation.

"There remain historical difficulties in implementation of budgets. We are trying to strengthen the budget execution capacity by bringing about necessary reforms," he said.

The planning minister was speaking at a virtual discussion -- 'Budget and Business Outlook of Bangladesh During 2021-22: Strategic Priorities' -- organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh (AmCham).

The minister expressed inability to break the wall of bureaucracy alone, as it needs an inter-ministerial coordination.

"We have to continue reforms in the bureaucracy," he added.

Dr. Atiur Rahman, former governor of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), said the government needs to ensure vaccination for 70 per cent people shortly for 'V-shape' economic recovery of the country from the Covid-19 pandemic fallouts.

Dr. Rahman also said quick vaccination of such a large number of people is important to bring back confidence among the business people.

"Vaccination is not given priority in the proposed budget, and there is no alternative vaccine now," he said while presenting a keynote paper in the webinar.

Echoing the former BB governor, Ahsan H Mansur, Executive Director of the Policy Research Institute (PRI) of Bangladesh, said: "We need to complete the vaccination of our people by June 2022. But the finance minister did not say clearly about the pace of vaccination in his budget proposal."

The senior economist also suggested enhancing allocation for the cottage, micro, small and medium enterprises (CMSMEs) to help create employment opportunities across the country.

Aftab Ul Islam, director of the central bank, said now is the time for the BB to give an expansionary monetary policy for the country with a view to recovering the economic activities from the pandemic fallouts.

While moderating the discussion Syed Ershad Ahmed, the AmCham President, said by now thousands of people have lost their jobs. It seems that there are chances more people will be jobless and income-less within the next few months.

Moreover, thousands of fresh university graduates are waiting to enter the job market, he noted.

According to the AmCham chief, a big gap between the poor and the rich people is in the society, and it could widen further. "We're afraid that this may turn into an unbalanced society," he mentioned.

Naser Ezaz Bijoy, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Standard Chartered Bank Bangladesh, said the overall budget has been accepted, but there is room for further review.

A good number of the AmCham members, including its executive committee members, foreign dignitaries, business leaders, media representatives, and other distinguished guests attended the virtual discussion.

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