The Budget We Really Want
Non-profit research and advocacy organization Unnayan Shamannay organized a pre-budget seminar titled “Eradicating Extreme Poverty by 2021: The Budget We Really Want” at the Sagar-Runi Auditorium of Dhaka Reporters Unity this morning.
Honorable Chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Finance, Dr. Md. Abdur Razzak MP was present at the event as the Chief Guest, while Begum Akhter Jahan MP, honorable member of the same Parliamentary Standing Committee was there as the Special Guest. Former Chairman of Bangladesh Krishi Bank and Emeritus Fellow of Unnayan Shamannay Khondker Ibrahim Khaled Chaired the seminar. Dr. Taiabur Rahman, Professor of Department of Development Studies, University of Dhaka presented the keynote paper on behalf of Unnayan Shamannay.
The keynote paper emphasized on the importance of replicating successful targeted livelihood programs for eradicating extreme poverty from Bangladesh by 2021. It pointed out that the National Budget should allocate further resources to finance targeted livelihood programs that have successful track record in extreme poverty eradication. The background paper of the 7th Five Year Plan states that we only need to allocate 1 percent of the GDP additionally for five fiscal years to rid the country of the scourge of extreme poverty.
Akhter Jahan MP in her remarks as the Special Guest praised the government commitment to eradicate extreme poverty and pointed out key initiatives taken by the government regarding women empowerment, developing infrastructure to reach the extreme poor living in the remote areas of the country.
In the remarks of the Chief Guest, Dr. Abdur Razzak inferred that while the government has achieved significant success in poverty eradication through numerous social safety nets, these safety nets alone will not be enough to eradicate extreme poverty from the country. He added that access to market for the rural producers need to be improved to ensure benefits of economic growth reach the extreme poor living in the rural areas.
In the closing remarks Chair of the seminar, Ibrahim Khaled said that the authorities need to move quickly to establish innovative and effective institutional mechanisms to coordinate efforts, devise appropriate policies, rationalize resources and oversee performance. This according to him will minimize leakage in safety net service delivery and ensure the extreme poor are reached.