Jamaat Ameer urges to ensure effective good governance, transparency and accountability at all levels
Ahead of the announcement of the budget of 2020-21 fiscal year, in a statement Jamaat Ameer said,
“The entire economy is suffering due to covid-19 pandemic situation. Under the circumstances, the government has decided to place its budget for 2020-21 fiscal year. This budget is supposed to uplift the overall national economy. This budget should ensure the utmost usage of technology to free all sectors and establishments from corruptions including the law enforcement agencies, passport, education, health, local government and the ongoing mega projects. Code of conduct must be ensured at all public institutions. Citizen charters must be complied. Major reforms should be done at all important platforms and state-owned organizations to avert bureaucratic complicacies, sluggishness and corruptions.
We are emphasizing some important issues which are needed to be focused in the fiscal budget of 2020-21 fiscal year. These are as follows:
Tax & Revenues:
Service sectors, particularly health, education and technology sectors must be kept out of the VAT procedures. Tax must be fixed as per the capacity of the people and the existing realities. Excessive expense must be avoided. Maximum tax must be imposed on tobacco items, luxurious accessories and cosmetics. The import and usage of these kinds of items should be discouraged.
Proper steps should be taken to protect and preserve the Waqf properties so that the state as a whole, can be benefited from these resources and simultaneously remained free from illegal grabbers.
Price of the electricity, produced from the quick rental power plans, to be reduced so that they can import fuel directly. Price of fuels have lessened in the global market. As such, power tariff must be reduced to ease additional burden, that had been imposed upon the citizens. Renewable power production and solar system should be expanded now.
It is the duty of the government to ensure proper health services for the citizens. Right now, entire health sector is at the verge of collapse. This sector should get highest priority in the ensuing budget. The personnel, who are getting recovery from coronavirus, they are not getting freed from its harmful impact even in the later period. Issue of health rehabilitation to be focused more. It is a must to ensure sufficient allocation for the health sector. An immediate service can be served by forming an emergency fund. Health service institutions to be reshuffled as per the standard set by the World Health Organization (WHO). Health Insurance should be launched at all levels and government’s fund to be ensured as well. There should be a sound management for removing the hospital garbage.
Poverty Alleviation and creating employment:
Social safety net to be formed to alleviate poverty and also to create employment opportunities. In the current budget, we have limited allocation for social safety net. It must be increased. Food services must be ensured for all, specially for the marginal sections. In the process of implementation, the culture of biasedness must be avoided. Interest-free loan should be provided to the SME entrepreneurs for promoting this sector. So far, the list of beneficiaries which have been created to execute social safety net programs, are politically biased and motivated. It must be changed and a proper and genuine list of beneficiaries should be made immediately.
Agriculture is key factor of Bangladeshi economy. Government’s patronization should be expanded in this regard. The farmers are not getting due price of the commodities now. As such, the farmers and the agricultural products must be kept free from the middlemen and other opportunists. To protect and preserve this sector, products must be procured directly from the farmers. Paddy should be sold at 30-40 taka per kilogram. To ensure proper marketing of the agro-based products and its due prices, a sound transportation through trains and road services must be guaranteed. ‘Farmer’s House should be a Garden House’, based on this principle, rural houses and its adjacent lands must be used extensively. Importance and patronization should be made certain for the poultry, dairy, fisheries and other sectors of the rural economic development.
During this pandemic situation, all countries of the world have been continuing online academic activities from primary to the university levels. But we are still lagging behind. Resultantly, our student communities are being remained far behind at education and technological levels. As such, to utilize the time of existing lockdown, online education system must be launched at all levels.
At least 20 percent of the national budget to be allocated for education sector. Besides,a fund should be formed from the revenue sector to conduct research and study. Initiatives must be made for the students to explore opportunities for higher studies both in home and abroad.
Business and Export sector:
The export sector of the country has been affected severely due to adverse impact of the coronavirus. This budget should take some effective steps in this regard. Agro-based export to be expanded by putting emphasis on agriculture and industries. The investment with absolute transparency for the greater industries and banking sectors to be ensured. Government’s declared stimulus package must be ensured with due honesty, transparency and efficiency. Political interference must be stopped in the banks and other economic institutions. Full sense of professionalisms should be ensured in the economic organizations. A stronger and professional banking commission can be formed, which is supposed to remain free from political influences. Besides, bank’s dependency upon the government should be reduced. The syphoned money must be brought back from the foreign countries.
Ecological balance and environment:
Effective steps to be taken to protect this nation and the people from the environmental crisis. Environmental pollution and catastrophic projects must be stopped. Forestation to be focused than ever.
Recently, cyclone Amphan has devastated the southern, south-western 26 districts including its bridges, culverts and embankments. Whoever have been killed and injured in this cyclone, they and their families should be rehabilitated as well and the upcoming budget must address this issue.
Rehabilitation of the Expatriates:
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, many expatriates have been forced to come back in Bangladesh as workless. As the remittance warriors, their contributions must be recognized. The laborers, who have died of coronavirus so far, their families and unemployed workers must be rehabilitated as well. This budget should have due allocations to meet these purposes.