Overall stance remains pro-growth
It has become a tradition for the budget to be increased every year by 17-18 percent so this year, there was no reason to expect this to change. Generally, Bangladesh’s budget has maintained a sectoral balance in its stance, giving priority to education, agriculture, infrastructure and social sector expenditures.
The bulk of subsidies goes to agriculture while significant costs have to be borne for the losses sustained by public sector banks. While it is easy to disagree with sectoral or specific priorities, the root of the problem lies in three different types of weaknesses: (a) Weakness in revenue collection and generation; (b) Low efficiency and high costs irrespective of sector; (c) Poor expenditure management leading to poor quality outcomes.