Keep note of war, Lanka’s woes in budget plan: experts

The government should take into account the Russian-Ukrainian war, the global economic recovery from the severe fallout of the pandemic and the latest collapse of the Sri Lankan economy when preparing the budget for the financial year 2022-23, have said. said experts and businessmen yesterday.

Otherwise, Bangladesh’s economy could face internal and external shocks for these three hot global issues, they said during a discussion on “Macro-economics: National Budget Expectations 2022-23” at the Institute. Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB).

Stakeholders pointed out that the balance of payments (BoP) over the past 10 months has exceeded $10 billion, with imports increasing to meet growing demand, which was already up more than 54% year-on-year.

By the end of the fiscal year, the BoP will hit $20 billion from a historical high of $7 billion to $8 billion, they said at the event co-hosted by the Economic Reporters’ Forum ( ERF) and ICAB.

Given the current global scenario, it will be unusual for the BoP to reach $20 billion, said Ahsan H Mansur, executive director of the Policy Research Institute.

Thus, given the current global contexts, the government should take proactive and preemptive decisions in the next budget so that externalities can be offset by sound decisions, he said.

For example, the current tight monetary policy should be continued for a long time, Mansur said.

Inflation in the country has been shown to be below 6%, but in many countries it has already exceeded 10%, he said, suggesting that the facts be checked to determine the real figure.

The government is providing more than Tk 100,000,000 in subsidies, more than 20 percent of the overall budget allocation, Mansur said, suggesting to be rational in the allocation.

Calling for concrete automation of revenue collection, the great economist also proposed to review the 2012 VAT law currently in force.

Mansur reiterated the need for tax administrators and tax collectors to operate separately to achieve greater efficiency.

Echoing Mansur, Planning Minister MA Mannan said reforms were badly needed in the National Revenue Board.

Allocations to unproductive sectors can never be justified, but political government sometimes overdoes it for the constraints of political economy, he said.

Praising the successes of the private sector, Mannan advocated allowing more freedom for the sector.

In this regard, he also commended the bureaucrats for implementing government action plans even in the face of criticism.

Criticizing bureaucrats is counterproductive and civil society should also provide more constructive advice, he said.

Saiful Islam, president of the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the eighth five-year plan needs to be revised for some corrections.

For example, he said, the share of non-traditional goods in exports was to be raised to 25%, but last year it could not be cultivated and clothing items continued to dominate with a 82% share.

Islam also said that local businesses pay 8-10% more tax than their South Asian counterparts and the effective rate is over 50% as other taxes come into effect with the current tax. on companies.

He also suggested reviewing the VAT law and launching a program allowing tax refunds for taxpayers.

Rasheda K Chowdhury, a former adviser to the caretaker government, suggested undertaking bigger projects in the education sector to bring about substantial improvements.

For example, she suggested continuing to provide scholarships to female students even after they marry.

She also suggested developing the current situation of shelters for working women.

She sought to know the rationale for a Tk 1,000 crore allocation for a safari park that would also serve as an elephant sanctuary at Juri upazila in Moulvibazar district.

Shawkat Hossain Masum, head of online services at the Bengali daily Prothom Alo, suggested having a functional banking commission and a public expenditure review commission.

Shomi Kaiser, president of the Electronic Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB), has requested allowances for skills development.

AK Khan, former president of the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, suggested empowering state-owned Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company to meet possible energy shortages for the Russian war -Ukrainian.

Monzur Ahmed, a representative of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, recommended keeping in mind the possible challenges for the country’s transition to developing country status at the UN.

Md Shahadat Hossain, president of ICAB, was for the expansion of the tax net.

Md Humayun Kabir, Former Chairman of ICAB moderated the discussion where Asif Ibrahim, Chairman of Chittagong Stock Exchange, Md Eunusur Rahman, Chairman of Dhaka Stock Exchange, Sharmeen Rinvy, Chairwoman of ERF, and SM Rashidul Islam , secretary general of the ERF , also took the floor.

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