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Four Key Challenges for the National Budget 2023-24: Some Reflections

Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) organized a seminar titled as “Four Key Challenges for the National Budget 2023-24: Some Reflections” on 12 June 2023 at the BIDS Conference Room. Dr. Sadiq Ahmed, Former Chief Economist, South Asia Region, World Bank and Vice Chairman, Policy Research Institute (PRI) was the key speaker at this seminar. Dr. Binayak Sen, the Director General of BIDS, chaired this seminar. This event was attended by BIDS researchers, development practitioners, policymakers, academicians, journalists, and representatives from civil society. The seminar was held in Hybrid mode. 

In the seminar Dr Sadiq highlighted that the national budget for FY 2023-24 is facing four key challenges, i.e., - restoring macroeconomic stability; the challenge of revenue mobilization; prudent financing of the budget deficit; and protecting social-sector spending.

Dr Sadiq Ahmed also mentioned that the reserves fell by $10 billion in one year. As the foreign-currency reserves are decreasing, to bring stability in the domestic economy it is the time to determine the single and market-based exchange rate of the currency. 

He discussed that the proposed budget prioritized GDP growth instead of concentrating on macroeconomic stability and controlling higher inflation.

During the seminar Dr. Binayak Sen said that tax and debt defaulters should not be allowed to participate in the upcoming elections. He also said as much as 2 percent of GDP is going into subsidies, most of which are unnecessary. Agriculture, fertilizers and social security can be subsidized, but subsidies for private sector do not make any sense.

Meeting recording link here

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