“The main strategy to contain inflation, outlined in the budget as increasing the supply along with reducing the growth in demand, stands in contradiction with the medium-term policy strategy which aims to focus on consumption and investment to increase the domestic demand and exports to increase the external demand,” SANEM said.

They, however, said that sales through TCB to mitigate the effect of inflation on low-income people, as mentioned in the budget, is commendable.

Although the government promises to continue taking action against hoarders, they have not offered any detailed action plan to this end, SANEM added.

Provisions for decreasing tariffs on essential items, exploring alternative import sources or similar supply side interventions for tackling inflation, have not been clarified in the budget, SANEM said in a press release on Thursday.

Terming the six challenges prioritised in the budget as timely and appropriate, the SANEM said the exclusion of challenges of poverty and job growth is unfortunate.

Three issues--poor allocation, target mismatch in terms of inclusion and exclusion errors, and coordination failure among implementing agencies—should have been addressed, according to SANEM.

The budget follows conventions of its predecessors regarding human development, trade and investment, and fails to address the associated challenges in the current context.

The SANEM terms proposal for a universal pension scheme praiseworthy but added that the budget has failed to mention any concrete strategy in this regard and questions remain as to how and when the scheme would be implemented.

The revenue target of Tk 4.33 trillion is rather unrealistic considering NBR’s consistent failure to achieve its own targets in the previous years, said the press release.

According to SANEM, one of the positive sides of the budget is that the tax benefit for RMG has been extended to other exporting sectors.

The budget failed to address that lack of proper feasibility studies, extension of time and increase in cost in many megaprojects that have been a major area of concern, said SANEM.

It is high time that a proper evaluation of progress in megaprojects and transport projects was undertaken, SANEM added.

The proposed budget provides scope of amnesty for money launderers, said the SANEM adding that this will rather encourage illicit money transfer and capital flight.

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