South Asian Network on Economic Modeling on Saturday said that the country could not get on the highways of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) through the proposed national budget of Bangladesh for the fiscal year 2018-2019.
The research organisation also stressed on quality expenditure of public money apprehending that the government might go for spending spree in the first half of the new fiscal year to make the development projects visible ahead of the upcoming national elections.
In its second quarterly review of Bangladesh Economy (QRBE) of 2018 on reflecting on national budget, SANEM executive director Selim Raihan made the observations at BRAC Centre Inn in Dhaka.
‘We can term the budget as a budget that fails to ride on the highways of the SDGs,’ Selim said.
He said that the budget should be aligned with the SDGs if the country wanted to achieve the goals of the global agenda.
The country requires bigger budget considering the size of its economy and future development goals, he said.
But the main problem is implementation of the adopted budget, he said, adding that implementation of the budget was more important than its size.
He said that political economy worked behind the failure of budget implementation.
The government agencies don’t feel pressure for better implementation of the budget as they find that the economy grows at the rate of over 7 per cent with 80 per cent implementation of a budget, he said.
SANEM found weak relation between budget implementation and economic indicators. It said that economy is moving forward though a significant portion of a budget remains unimplemented.
It also said that revenue mobilisation target with around 31 per cent growth was not realistic as well as not achievable.
The budget doesn’t have any specific directions on implementation of the VAT Act-2012 from July, 2019, it said.
The organisation also said that the budget did not reflect any specific directions on implementation of the fast-track projects though the proposed budget declared 10 mega projects as fast-track one.
It also apprehended that disbursement of fund would rise in the first half of the next fiscal year to make the mega projects visible.
The government needs to increase monitoring to ensure quality of expenditure, it said.
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