Shushashoner Jonno Procharavijan (SUPRO) is a network of local NGOs and CSOs to promote right based approach and campaign for good governance and economic justice organized Citizen’s Dialogue ahead of the national budget for FY 2019-20. SUPRO organised the programme at BMA auditorium at Topkhana Road where former governor of Bangladesh Bank (BB) Dr Atiur Rahman addressed the programme as the key discussant.
Speakers at a dialogue on Tuesday said the implementation rate of previous national budget should be discussed publicly before placing a fresh annual expenditure for a new financial year. There should also be a follow up to ascertain how many budget proposals and recommendations made by different focus groups are taken into account by government to prepare national budget for a particular fiscal year (FY), they suggested at the Citizen's Dialogue in the city ahead of the national budget for FY 2019-20. SUPRO Chairperson Abdul Awal chaired the event where Dhaka University (DU) Professor Dr M Abu Yousuf, Shirin Akhter, MP, and Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) Secretary Ruhin Hossain Prince were also present and spoke. Focusing on implementation of national budget, Atiur Rahman said discussion should be held on what portion of a budget is implemented and what remained unimplemented. "The government set a revenue target in the national budget, if the revenue collection doesn't reach the target, the reasons behind missing the target should be explained before placing another budget," he said. Accountability will be ensured if the finance minister on his budget speech notes that the government has considered this or that proposals given by different platforms, he said.
Speaking at the programme, Prof Yousuf metioned there is no draft budget for discussion in Bangladesh. He said neighbouring country India unveils a draft budget six weeks before placing the final one for discussion. Bangladesh can follow that strategy too, said Yousuf, a professor of the development studies. Allocating funds for underprivileged communities is not enough, he noted, saying a proper plan is also needed to spend the money in effective way. Questioning the necessity of so many banks in the country, he said banks are set up to do business. Shirin Akther stressed the need for ensuring good governance in government expenditure and project implementation for better implementation of national budget.