Convener of Citizen's Platform for SDGs Debapriya Bhattacharya said the assessment on inflation provided by the government is not realistic and scientific and it is not impossible that inflation may stand at 12 per cent now.
According to Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), currently, inflation stands at 6.22 per cent in the country.
Citing the upward trend of inflation, Debapriya Bhattacharya said goods seeing higher price in global markets are yet to arrive in Bangladesh and once these products arrive prices will go up further. Besides, if exchange rate of taka continues to depreciate, prices of imported goods will obviously go up.
He urged the government to set inflation as the central index and emphasise it in the next budget.
Debapriya Bhattacharya said, “2018-19 was the country’s last normal fiscal year prior to the coronavirus pandemic. Putting some aspects aside, Bangladesh is yet to return to such fiscal state as yet and the next budget is going to be placed with such deficit.”
Citing surge in prices of essentials in market, the economist said such state has created one kind of instability and uncertainty and that will continue throughout 2022-23 fiscal.
The Russia-Ukraine war makes the situation more complex, he said adding, a bigger crisis hits macro economy.
Emphasising on small and medium industry, informal sector and youth employment in the next budget, Debapriya Bhattacharya said the rate of ADP (annual development programme) implementation is low with education, health and social safety net witness lower progress.
He called for fixing the celling of tax payable income at Tk 350,000 as well as providing Tk 1,000 as allowance and Tk 100,000 education loan a year for youths. He also urged to keep special arrangement for marginal people.
Debapriya Bhattacharya advised formulating budget centring employment not on GDP.