South Asian Network on Economic Modeling executive director Selim Raihan said that the present context under the backdrop of the COVID‑19 outbreak demanded a special approach in the budget with a focus on health, social protection and agriculture.
Unnecessary government expenditure must be cut down, he said at the seventh episode of the SANEM Netizen Forum on COVID-19 Pandemic held on Tuesday.
There should also be a prioritisation even among the mega projects, he added.
Attention must be given to poverty, inequality, employment as these three indicators are in bad shape under the current crisis, he said.
At the programme, SANEM also sought regular updates on the disbursement of the government announced stimulus package to maintain transparency and accountability.
Participants at the forum made some recommendations, including proper implementation of the budget allocation to the health, education, and agriculture sectors and addressing the plight of small‑scale enterprises, in the next budget.
Rent seekers must be controlled and brought to justice to stop possible embezzlement of the stimulus package, they suggested.
Laying off workers and employees must be stopped, they said.
SANEM research director Sayema Haque Bidisha, research fellow Mahtab Uddin, research associates Eshrat Sharmin, Mir Ashrafun Nahar and Fabiha Bushra Khan, among others, participated in the programme.
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