The recently passed national budget for Bangladesh for the fiscal year 2023-24 has garnered attention and generated discussions among experts and stakeholders. The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) has raised concerns about the budget’s effectiveness in addressing the country’s ongoing macroeconomic challenges. This article will provide a comprehensive analysis of the Bangladesh budget for FY2023-24, evaluating its key components, economic targets, and potential implications.
The budget sets ambitious goals, aiming to achieve a 7.5% GDP growth rate while keeping annual inflation around 6%. These targets reflect the government’s commitment to fostering economic growth and maintaining price stability. However, the CPD has expressed reservations about the budget’s ability to align with the current macroeconomic reality.
Budget Allocation and Expenditure:
The total budget size for FY2023-24 is Tk761,785 crore, which represents approximately 15.2% of the country’s GDP. The finance minister presented the Appropriations Bill seeking a budgetary allocation of Tk1,110,840 crore, which was passed by voice votes in the parliament. The budget allocates Tk436,247 crore for operating and other sectors, with Tk263,000 crore designated for the Annual Development Programme. It is essential to examine how these allocations will impact different sectors and contribute to economic growth.
The CPD has criticized the proposed budget for failing to adequately address the ongoing macroeconomic challenges and crises faced by Bangladesh. Concerns have been raised about hyperinflation, energy sector vulnerability, conservative investment, and the neglect of certain segments such as children and laborers. Experts have stressed the need for targeted measures and resource allocation to tackle these issues effectively.
During the CPD Budget Dialogue-2023 event, various stakeholders provided their insights on the proposed budget. These perspectives included views from government officials, industry representatives, parliamentary committee members, and experts. Their opinions shed light on potential shortcomings, such as the inclusion of educational institutions and NGOs under the Companies Act, the passing of income tax laws before the budget, and the importance of considering the impact on workers’ wages.
Implications and the Way Forward:
The analysis of the budget indicates a need for careful evaluation and consideration of its implications. It is crucial to address the concerns raised by the CPD and other stakeholders to ensure effective policy implementation. The government must respond to the challenges highlighted, such as hyperinflation, power sector vulnerabilities, and the inclusion of all segments of society in the budgetary process. A balanced approach that supports economic growth while prioritizing social welfare and sustainability will be key.
The Bangladesh budget for FY2023-24 has generated mixed reactions, with the CPD expressing concerns about its ability to address macroeconomic challenges adequately. The analysis of the budget’s economic targets, allocation and expenditure, stakeholder perspectives, and potential implications highlights the need for a comprehensive approach that aligns with the current macroeconomic reality. It is crucial for the government to address the raised concerns and prioritize measures that promote inclusive growth, tackle inflation, and ensure the well-being of all segments of society. By carefully evaluating the budget and implementing targeted policies, Bangladesh can strive towards sustainable economic development and social progress.
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About The Author:
Mirza Rakib Hasan Shovon
Managing Director and CEO
Aristo Tex International
Research & Development
International Corporate Association of Professionals (InCAP)