Atiur also pointed out that by cutting unnecessary spending further allocations could be ensured for social safety, education, and health.

He, however, said a cautious budget has been proposed for FY 2022-23 which considers both the need to reduce imports and the demand for allocations for economic recovery. It aims to push forward an inclusive economic recovery while prioritising the socio-economic security of the people and keeping the growth momentum going.

Atiur presented the keynote paper at Unnayan Shamannay’s press conference on a review of the FY 2022-23 budget held in the city on Saturday.

Among others experts Unnayan Shamannay’s lead economist- Robert Shuvro Guda, its policy analyst Zinia Sharmin, eminent economist Jamal Uddin and sociologist Khondoker Shakhawat Ali were present at the session.

Robert Shuvro Guda informed that an average citizen spends a lot on healthcare and of that amount- over two-thirds goes mainly for buying medicines.

By allocating just over Tk 12 billion additionally for the medical and surgical equipment sub-sector of the health budget, this burden can be eased to a significant extent, Guda said.

The finance minister in his budget speech confirmed that if required allocations for subsidies in fuel and fertilizer will be further increased. The same principle should be followed for allocations for social safety nets as well, opined Zinia Sharmin.

Jamal Uddin emphasised on raising the tax-GDP ratio and enhancing the tax collection capacity of the NBR. He said that NBR at the moment does not have the preparation to effectively collect taxes from upazila levels.

In the concluding remarks, Khondoker Shakhawat Ali praised the government for being able to come up with a budget amid numerous challenges. He urged the policymakers to seriously consider the recommendations coming from budget reviews done by different citizen platforms.

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