Published:  08:24 AM, 11 June 2024

'Budget lacks vision of pathway to recovery for the economy'

'Budget lacks vision of pathway to recovery for the economy' Economist Debapriya Bhattacharya presides over a discussion organized by Citizens' Platform on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the capital on Monday. -Agency
The Citizens' Platform on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on Monday said that the proposed budget did not show a pathway to restoring economic stability. Leaders of the civil society platform said this while speaking in a media briefing on the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 at BRAC Inn Center in the capital on Monday. Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Senior Research Fellow Towfiqul Islam Khan presented a keynote paper highlighting different sides of the budget at the briefing.

He also said, "The budget talks about restoring economic stability. We are very optimistic. Dreams don't get any better than this. But there is no guidance on its implementation. Nothing was said about the people affected by Cyclone in the coastal areas. Why did we fall into an economic crisis?" "Talk of a Russia-Ukraine war is out. No discussion on banking sector, good governance. Market irregularities, what will happen to prevent money laundering, and the debt crisis has not been identified by the budget speech," he pointed out.

Taufiqul said, "It is not accepted that we are in a debt situation on a large scale. In the last fiscal year our revenue was not sufficient to repay the foreign debt. We have repaid nearly Tk25000 crore."

The Citizens' Platform has also criticised the keeping provision for legalizing undisclosed money in the proposed budget.

Leaders of the organization said that the opportunity to legitimize the undisclosed amount by investing only 2-3 percent in the housing sector and not 15 percent cannot be accepted.

Towfiqul in the presentation said, "In the budget where there is exemption from income tax. Discounts are greatly reduced indirectly. There is no action on direct tax exemptions like garments, fuel, and microcredit. There is no guidance on what to do next. There is also no action on exemption of income tax."

He said undisclosed money can be legalized with 15 percent cash. But if you buy a flat in the Gulshan area, you can get away with 2.38 percent tax. Totally legal, at the same time it appears you can get away with 2-3 percent not 15 percent. At the same time, indemnity has been paid in full. No one can ask any question. This is not acceptable.

Debapriya Bhattacharya, convenor of Citizen Platform and Honorary Fellow of CPD, presided over the event. TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman, Policy Exchange Chairman M Masrur Riaz, among others, spoke at the event.


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