The Cabinet at a special meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sanctioned the proposed national budget on 5th June (Saturday) for the fiscal year 2021-22.
The finance minister has proposed a Tk 603,681 crore national budget for the fiscal year 2021-22.
However, think-tank South Asian Network on Economic Modelling (SANEM) stated the proper assessment of the impact of the pandemic was absent in the proposed budget for 2021-22 fiscal year.
The Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) welcomed the proposed budget but raised concerns over the implementation.
It addressed the major challenges of proper implementation and ensuring the quality of public spending must be addressed if the nation is to obtain the full benefits of the proposed budgetary allocations and fiscal and other incentives.
According to Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), the proposed budget does not have much to offer in terms of concrete measures and innovative policies to combat Covid-19 induced challenges.
With around 40 percent allocation for development expenditure, public services, education and technology, transport and communication and social security and welfare get higher share while share of sectors including health and agriculture is lower, it said.
The budget would have given a clear indication on how the health, education and other social sectors will get recovery in the next 3-4 years from the existing hardship, said Fahmida Khatun, executive director of the CPD.
The government has kept aside Tk 10,000 crore to implement the vaccination programme in tackling the pandemic, but the volume is not adequate, Khatun said.
Meanwhile, the budgetary allocation for the social safety net programme has increased a bit, she opined.
Nonetheless, the government has also included the pension fund for the retired government employees and the interest of the savings certificates to the SSNPs, inflating the allocation artificially.
The net allocation for the poor has not increased in a true sense.
The government has also predicted a 6.1 per cent GDP growth for this fiscal year, which is high given the performance of the major economic indicators.
There is low possibility to achieve such high GDP growth and the government has set 7.2 per cent growth for the next fiscal year.
“The targeted growth is not a materialistic one and achieving the goal will not be possible,” Khatun noted.