Formulate Pro-poor and Decentralized Budget incorporating demands of under-privileged communities of the society

A national budget is a crucial legal and policy document that outlines government’s economic policies, revenue and expenditure motivations and expectations. For a 12-month period, the national budget entails the plan for the functioning of the economy. It follows that the national budget is of interest to everyone who resides in the country as it has implications for all.  But in reality, it was found that demands and considerations of all sections of the society were not reflected in budget documents of Bangladesh.

A forum with representation of 22 development and rights organizations titled “Budget Bisoyok Nagorik Morcha” (Budget Advocacy Alliance) organized a press conference on 22 May 2011 in Conference Hall, National Press Club, Dhaka and pointed out following demands. Most of the organizations in the alliance have been advocating to prioritize poor and marginalized people’s especially farmers, labourers, indigenous people, physically and mentally challenged, dalits and women’s  demand in the national budget process. Sushasoner Jonny Procharavizan SUPRO as a pioneer organization in budget campaign and advocacy engaging mass people, civil society members, different professional bodies, local government elected representatives, district and national policy makers, facilitating and actively participating as a member organization in Budget Bisoyok Nagorik Morcha.

On behalf of BBNM, executive board member of SUPRO Manju Rani Pramanik moderated the press conference and SUPRO director Uma Chowdhury welcomed the audience. Samsun Nahar Aziz Lina, Chairperson of Shakkhar Environment &  Education Development Society read out the press briefing note. Morshed Ali, President, Bangladesh Krishak Shamiti; Bothenic Soleman, President, Bangladesh Dalit and Excluded Rights Movement; Bashir Al Hossain, Law and Justice Secretary, Jatiya Trinamul Pratibandhi Shangstha; Firoja Begum, Executive Director, Bachte Shikho Nari; Sirajuddahar Khan, BBWG; Dipayan Khisa, Vice Chairperson, Kapeng Foudation; Zaed Iqbal Khan, president, Bangladesh Krishak Federation; Sharifa Khatun, executive board member of SUPRO were present in the press conference and answered all questions of journalists and discussed about people’s issues in upcoming budget 2011-12.

BBNM placed the following demands in the press conference:

  • To ensure participation of all section of the society Government must disclose the draft budget 3 months prior to declare it to the parliament;
  • Government must initiate employment schemes for the landless people and ensure separate budget allocation to provide agricultural equipments through BADC at fair price;
  • Form farmers’ cooperatives and take actions to provide training and knowledge on modern farming system for the farmers;
  • Eliminate discrimination in wage structure among different categories of workers at all sectors and ensure the national wage scale soon.
  • Allocate sufficient budget for better accommodation of dalits in each city corporation and pourashava
  • Government must ensure adequate budget to provide education facilities for disabled students and recruit at least one specialized teacher at each school.
  • Government will have to make sure a separate budget for indigenous students in the national budget and will start income generating schemes for indigenous peoples.
  • Take measures to recruit health professionals at the vacant posts all over the country and according to WHO standard, ensure the ratio of doctor : nurse : health assistant as 1 : 3 : 5 at all hospitals.
  • According to the Education Policy 2010, government must ensure the ratio of teachers and students as 1: 30 and it will have to reflect in budget.
  • Government will take initiative to establish sufficient schools and ensure health facility, dress and mid day meal for the poor students at remote area.
  • Take initiative to ensure the equal access of women in education, technology and science.

In the press conference, 22 development and rights organizations of different categories namely Bangladesh Bhumihin Shamiti, Bangladesh Krishak Shamiti, Bangladesh Krishak Federation, Bangladesh Dalit and Excluded Rights Movement, Nagorik Uddyog, Labour Resource Center, Jatiya Nari Pratibandhi Shangstha,  Jatiya Trinamul Pratibandhi Shangstha, RDC, ADD, Kapeng Foundation, DORP, BBWG, Society for Community Oriented Progress, Bachte Shikho Nari, Society for Bright Social Services, Shakkhar Environment & Education Development Society, Development Education and Peace, SAARI, Shadhin Bangla Garments Sramik Karmachari Federation, Sangjukta Krishak and Khetmajur Federation, and SUPRO were present.


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