‘Grassroots expectation is that budget is not only announced driven it should be real direct tax driven and the announced budget not only indirect finance related but it reflects to transparent, efferent & professional aspects and ensure pro-poor, implementable, transparent and accountable manner’- in a pre-budget discussion meeting SUPRO-(a network of civil society organizations) has demanded the similar view. SUPRO has organized the meeting on May 07, 2016, at VIP Lounge, National Press Club, Dhaka. The program has co-sponsored by 11 organizations including Come to Work (Dinjapur), Darpan (Comilla), ijol (Jamalpur), Jagonari (Barguna), PKSS (Natore), PPS (Pabna), SETU (Kushtia), Shoroney (Tangail), SoDESH Satkhira (Satkhira), Voice (Mymensingh) and YPSA (Chittagong). The meeting has presided over by Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, Chairperson, SUPRO & Executive Director, VOICE and the meeting has moderated by Md. Arifur Rahman, General Secretary, SUPRO & Chief Executive, YPSA. The distinguished guests including Dr. Abdur Razzak, MP, Hon’ble President, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, Bangladesh National Parliament, Mr. M A Mannan, MP, Hon’ble State Minister to the Ministry of Finance & Planning, Government of Bangladesh, Colonel (Rtd.) Showkat Ali, MP, Hon’ble President, Parliamentary Caucus on National Planning and Budget and Kazi Rozy, MP, Hon’ble Vice President, Parliamentary Caucus on National Planning and Budget presented at the discussion meeting. Dr. Mohammad Abdul Mazid, Former Chairman, National Board of Revenue, has presented as the key discussants.
At the beginning of the discussion meeting the key note paper comprised of 45 district demands have presented by National Council Member of SUPRO and Executive Director of SETU, M A Quader and SUPRO National Council Member & Executive Director of Shoroney, Manju Rani Pramanik. It is worth to mention that SUPRO has organized the pre-budget discussion meetings in 45 districts before that and the demands have already sent to the Ministry of Finance by email and fax. Dr. Abdur Razzak, MP, has said during his discussion, government has sheer attention to increase the investments. The priority sector on electricity and food has expedited the investment sector. Tax evasion has also envisioned in the developed countries. In our country few MPs have not been submitted their TIN Return also. The parliamentary standing committee on Finance has repeated saying about the house rent fixation but the Ministry has not moved yet. Government has done a lot to subsidize the agriculture inputs e.g. fertilizer etc. but it has not enough. If we really want to see or survive the farmers we have to decrease the prices of agricultural inputs at the lowest rate, no alternative in this regard. Due to lackadaisical approach of the bureaucrats lot of works have not been implemented properly in due time and in the right direction.
Mr. M A Mannan, MP has said, we have been trying a lot to make the budget a pro-poor one but at the end of the day it is go in vain and made into a compromise document. Because government is used to move and accommodating with the multifarious people in the society. But in our country there is an open discussions takes place on budgetary issue which is not happening in other countries also. The key challenge of the budget implementation is stop wastage. We have to raise question the respective quarters on Value for Money. We are doing a lot in this regard but not in an organized manner. It needs proper coordination. Local government decentralization is very urgent but it also urgent to mobilize local resources at the local level.
Colonel (Rtd.) M. Showkat Ali, MP has said, we are still confined in the conceptual state regarding budget formulation and implementation. We have not been progress too far in this regard. He said about the role of MPs that MPs have not the role of implementing Test Relief; Food for Work distribution, their duties is to make law. It has enhanced work overlapping and visualized lack of coordination. The expenditure on education and health has been going wastage in the maximum stage, not expending in real work areas. Administrative devolution and decentralization is very urgent.
Kazi Rozy MP has said, Government alone can’t do development; development will happen when we all work together and come forward. We have to create consciousness among ourselves. We have to increase our working mindset.
Dr. Muhammad Abdul Mazid has said, the tax payers have also come forward to expedite universal tax system process and reinvigorating the tax structure. It is very difficult to stand the tax system in an ideal situation without all out efforts.
The discussion meeting has also presented NGOs representatives, journalist, teachers, students etc. The chair of the session has end the meeting with vote of thanks.
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