Speakers at a dialogue on the national budget 2015-16 on Saturday suggested the government to expand the tax net and modernize the collection system to meet the revenue target.
They said if the tax net is not widened and strengthened the collection would remain low forcing the government to go for bank borrowings.
Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) organized the dialogue in a city hotel to analyze the proposed budget for FY16.
Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith on June 4 unveiled the national budget of Taka 295,100 crore for fiscal 2015-16, where revenue collection has been set at Taka 208,443 crore in which the NBR would contribute Taka 176,370 crore.
CPD Executive Director Professor Mustafizur Rahman made a keynote
presentation on the proposed budget in which he suggested the government to bring some reforms in the financial sector for implementation of large budget.
CPD advocated for expediting the reform agendas such as public services Act, PPP Act, privatization and financial reporting Act which remained stalled.
The private think-tank body recommended forming five independent
commissions for statistical, agriculture price, local government financing, public expenditure review and financial sector reform towards better macroeconomic management.
Speaking on the occasion as the chief guest, Planning Minister A H M Mustafa Kamal said all the macro-economic indicators give clear indication that proposed budget is implementable.
“We’ve set a goal, and we know the problems and ways of solutions . . . so we are confident that we can implement the budget,” he said.
Replying to the remarks of BNP leaders Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury about the low rate of private sector investment, Kamal said: “when any entrepreneurs see frequent hartal, blockade and petrol bomb why he/she would be interested to invest in the country.”
“Bangladesh economy is moving ahead in a way a balanced economy should run,” the planning minister pointed out.
Terming the budget as a “document of compromise”, State Minister for Finance and Planning M A Mannan said the government has to formulate the budget having consultations with different stakeholders and pressure groups.
Criticizing the proposed budget, BNP leader Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury said investment is the key component of the growth, but for the last few years the private sector is showing reluctance to investment in the country, which forced the public sector to increase its investment.
He said the government has failed to bring reforms in the financial sector that’s why the sector lost dynamism.
Moderated by the CPD Chairman Professor Rehman Sobhan, economists,
academicians, bureaucrats, businessmen, politicians and representatives of stakeholders took part in the dialogue. (Source: BSS)