There is need for efficiency and honesty for implementing any budget07 May 2021 Editorial Desk
Speakers at a webinar focused on the need for framing a pandemic focused budget for the next fiscal giving the highest priority to the health sector to mitigate covid related public health challenges alongside mitigating macroeconomic risks and widening social safety nets programmes, this paper reported on Thursday.
The discussants have rightly emphasized the need for addressing livelihood issues of hundreds and thousands of people left unemployed amid the renewed shutdown from last month. Many fear a hunger like situation is stirring as the number of jobless are adding to the queue seeking public and private help which is however not adequately forthcoming. So in our view the next budget should be invariably framed efficiently and implemented honestly to reach the budgetary support to the needy.
More important is that this budget should speedily develop a nation-wide covid screening and vaccination programme to stop the spread of the pandemic now sweeping the country for the second spell. The government's lackluster attitude towards implementing the vaccination programme must go and people's access to government hospitals for testing and treatment must quickly expand. We would say the government has so far failed to create wider access to covid treatment forcing people to go to private hospitals. They realize Tk 3000 to Tk 4000 for a single covid test while one has to pay only Tk 100 for such test at government hospitals. But their access is almost denied although our health budget tops the list of public expenditures.
The speakers have therefore rightly demanded stopping the misuse of budgetary fund and corruption in government projects when the nation needs the best out of public money. The reasonable expectation is that the next budget will allocate enough funds to support the unemployed and create more jobs for jobless at local levels. Cottage, small and micro enterprises must get priority support to rejuvenate local businesses.
Our information shows there is mismanagement and dishonesty in implementing any policy. Government's experts are juggling with figures without ensuring proper implementation. Discussing or commenting on them by others means nothing. So we leave it to the government to show in practice how good is the budget. Endemic corruption and awful inefficiency that exist in the government machinery is the built-in hurdle for the success of the government. There is no accountability, so let them show what they can do.