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National Budget for 2024-2025 and the Medium-Term Outlook on the Bangladesh Economy

For the first time, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) organized a post-budget discussion meeting on its premises. The event, titled “National Budget for 2024-2025 and the Medium-Term Outlook on the Bangladesh Economy – ২০২৪-২০২৫ অর্থবছরের জাতীয় বাজেট ও বাংলাদেশের অর্থনীতির মধ্যমেয়াদী প্রেক্ষিত," was held on June 8, 2024, from 2:30 PM to 5:00 PM.

The event was divided into two sessions moderated by Dr. Binayak Sen, Director General of BIDS. In the first session, researchers from BIDS discussed the proposed FY 24-25 budget. The second session was dedicated to budget-related questions from the journalists answered by the designated BIDS researchers.

A total of five presentations were held at the event. Dr. Binayak Sen provided the opening remarks and, in his presentation, Dr. Sen stated that in terms of economic development Bangladesh performed better than many expected. He showed that we have seen gradual development in GDP and per capita GDP growth rates from the year of 2010 to 2023. In terms of Structural Transformation, we are becoming a manufacturing nation.

Dr. Monzur Hossain, Research Director at BIDS, delivered his presentation titled ‘National Budget 2024 and Medium-Term Economic Outlook’. He highlighted that reducing inflation will be challenging with a rise in fuel prices. In his presentation, he emphasized on the governance issue of financial sector & prudential pricing strategy for setting energy price.

Dr. Kazi Iqbal, Research Director at BIDS, discussed on industry and trade. In his presentation, he addressed the strategies for industrialization in Bangladesh and their reflection on the national budget for the FY 2024-25. He suggested to develop a detailed industrialization plan on how to support the selected priority sectors by formulating a comprehensive package for next 5-10 years.

 Dr. Mohammad Yunus, another Research Director at BIDS, delivered a presentation on the Agriculture Sector. He said that compared to the total national income, very little allocation has been given to the agriculture sector and the size of agricultural budget has reduced about 17% from the revised budget of last year. The new budget proposed to increase incentives and decrease the agricultural subsidy in the overall agricultural budget. He warned that if the agricultural sector is in crisis, food insecurity will increase.


Finally, Dr. S.M. Zulfiqar Ali, Research Director at BIDS, presented on the education and health sectors. He began by highlighting Bangladesh's significant progress in educational outcomes, such as literacy, net primary enrollment, reduction in the primary school dropout rate, and gender parity. However, he noted that ensuring the quality of education remains a challenge. He also highlighted that Bangladesh has made significant achievements in health outcomes, particularly in preventive healthcare. He regrets mentioning that the global standard suggests at least 5% of GDP should be allocated to the health sector, on the contrary, our budgetary allocation to the sector is only 1%.

The first session concluded with remarks from the Director General of BIDS and he inaugurated the second session. Esteemed journalists from both electronic and print media participated, attending in person and via Zoom online platform in that session and asking budget-related questions to the designated discussants. The hour-long session concluded with closing remarks from the Director General of the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS).

Meeting recording link here

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