Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Budget has become an orphan, IMF its foster father: Debapriya

News Desk : dhakamirror.com

The budget of Bangladesh has become an orphan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is now the foster father of it, said Debapriya Bhattacharya, a distinguished fellow of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).

“When the IMF goes to a country with their programme, it establishes a singular authority over economic management,” he said.

“So, recently I have said the budget has now become an orphan and the IMF has become its foster father.”

He was speaking at an event organised by the Citizen’s Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre today.

The event was organised so that the concerns of disadvantaged groups are addressed in the upcoming national budget. It is the first budget after the IMF started disbursing funds under its $4.7 billion loan programme for Bangladesh and it has attached a number of conditions as well.

Debapriya said numerous studies, including those from the IMF, demonstrated that inequality tends to increase during IMF programmes or as a result of IMF conditionalities.

So, the government should implement the IMF programme-stipulated reforms and policy steps by taking the inequality concerns into cognisance and in consultation with disadvantaged groups, said Bhattacharya, also the convenor of the Citizen’s Platform for SDGs.

He suggested ensuring incremental resource allocation in a targeted fashion taking into account the priorities of the disadvantaged population.

The government should ensure disaggregated data for the disadvantaged groups to make the budget allocations and delivery visible and ensure transparency and accountability, Debapriya said.

He recommended introducing participatory, result-based management by involving the intended beneficiaries.

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