Bangladesh Economic Association (BEA) President Prof Dr Abul Barkat has said the next budget should focus on reducing inequality and expanding decent work oppourtunities.
Prof Barkat, who was also the former chairman of Janata Bank, made the remark at a press conference titled “Bangladesh Economic Association Alternative Budget Proposal 2022-23: A Democratic Budget Proposal” organized at BEA building in Dhaka on Sunday.
“In addition to income and wealth inequality, health and education inequality is also increasing in the country. Meanwhile, the number of poor people has doubled due to the Covid pandemic. Reducing this inequality should be the main goal of the next five consicutive national budgets, starting with the upcoming budget proposal,” said the BEA president.
Keeping this reality in mind, BEA also proposed an alternative budget of Tk 20,50,038 crore for the fiscal year 2022-23. The proposed budget is 3.4 times bigger than the budget of the government.
Regarding foreign loans, Abul Barkat said that by 2027-28, when Bangladesh will start repaying loans for four or five foreign aid-dependent megaprojects, the country's credit rating will fall from green to red, creating major discomfort in repaying loans.
"By 2032, the risk will be higher," he added.
He also emphasised on considering on whether such government decisions might have an adverse effect on the country's economy in future.