With Bangladesh having firmly declared its intentions of becoming a prosperous and high-income nation by 2041, the national budget for the upcoming fiscal year is the first step towards realizing that goal.
Bangladesh’s ambitious approach over the past decade and a half must be commended, but simultaneously, it is also important to remain realistic — and this is equally true with the budget and subsequent allocations.
Therefore, we applaud the proposed budget to remain at about 15% of the nation’s GDP. A realistic budget which addresses the issues the nation is facing currently is the best approach to assist Bangladesh with navigating the challenging times it currently finds itself in with the devaluation of the local currency, the ongoing inflation, and its issues with liquidity.
We commend the decision taken by the authorities to make the budget more participatory by making all the budget-related documents available on the website of the Finance Division — if a Smart Bangladesh is indeed to have smart citizens as one of its four pillars, it is imperative that there is more transparency in the government and that people are able to voice their concerns and opinions.
However, Bangladesh’s inability to allocate a higher percentage to the education sector remains disappointing; despite intent to bring about widespread change to our curricula to prepare the leaders of Smart Bangladesh, we fail to see that reflected in the budget. Moving forward, as we continue building towards the ultimate goal of 2041, education must be prioritized — and the yearly budget must start to reflect this.
At this point in time, while the budget appears to be hitting the right notes, the real test is following through with what has been proposed in the budget. At the end of the FY, we hope that we are not left, once again, with failed targets and that we get one step closer to realizing Vision 2041.
Source: Dhaka Tribune.