May 19, 2024, 11:00 pm

CPD for strengthening transparency in budget delivery process

  • Update Time : Monday, May 6, 2024
  • 7 Time View
Photo: Collected

BSS, Dhaka:
The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) has laid emphasis on strengthening transparency, participation and oversight in the budget delivery process. The think-tank urged the government to make scope for the local level citizens to be involved in budget delivery and monitoring process including selection of participants in social protection programmes and implementation of public investment projects to reduce leakages and corruption.
CPD yesterday made the observation at a dialogue on “New Government, National Budget and Citizens’ Aspirations” at a hotel in the city.
CPD in association with Citizen’s Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh organised the dialogue.
Deputy Leader of the opposition in the national parliament and former minister Anisul Islam Mahmud, former planning minister MA Mannan, Executive Director of Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE) Rasheda K Choudhury and CPD Distinguished fellow Dr Mustafizur Rahman, among others, spoke on the occasion.
Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, a distinguished fellow of the CPD, delivered the keynote speech with CPD Executive Director Dr Fahmida Khatun in the chair.
Anisul Islam Mahmud thanked CPD for organising the dialogue and said this kind of dialogue can keep a good role in the budget preparation process.
MA Mannan, now the chairman of the standing committee on planning ministry, said the government is giving different allowances for the welfare of common people.
“The government is providing different allowances which have a huge impact. So, the government should expand the areas of this allowance in the upcoming budget,” he added.
Debapriya urged the government to allocate more funds for social protection, education and health. He also urged allocating funds for ensuring decent employment and labour rights for all.
He recommended the government increase allocation for education (to over three percent of the GDP) and for health (over two percent of the GDP).
He also recommended increasing the allocation for social protection programmes (to over three percent of GDP).
Take away the pension fund out of the total social security allocation and distribute it to the actual social safety items for disadvantaged communities, he said.
“Create an accurate database of disadvantaged communities for better integration and to mitigate the ‘exclusion and inclusion error’ regarding the social security programmes delivery and sector-specific allocation,” he added.
Debapriya emphasised technical and vocational skill development as per the global standard by considering the 27.4 percent NEET (not in employment, education or training) youth population.
Regarding subsidies, he suggested enhancing it to sectors such as agriculture, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), food security programmes and other sectors such as health and education (where the out-of-pocket expenditure is very high) to ease the inflationary pressure.
Dr Bhattacharya, however, also urged the government to ensure strong leadership and coordination among the government agencies, while devising and implementing policy decisions.
He recommended ensuring disaggregated budget reporting using real time data at the national parliament under the Public Money and Budget Management Act 2009.
He also urged the government to ensure regular monthly meetings of the critical parliamentary committees related to public finance management such as Standing Committee on Ministry of Finance, Standing Committee on Ministry of Planning, Public Accounts Committee, Committee on Estimates and Committee on Public Undertakings with opportunities for public hearings involving relevant stakeholders and citizens groups as well as briefings by amicicuriae.

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