The budget did not expand youth-centric projects, nor did it raise the issue of youths’ mental health
Planning Minister MA Mannan on Saturday said there was a lack of coordination among various ministries and departments in working with the country’s youth.
He recommended forming a high-powered cell to coordinate work between public and private organizations to build a better future for the younger generation.
The minister was speaking at a webinar, “Youth Budget Framework: An Appraisal”, organized by the private research institute South Asian Network on Economic Modelling (Sanem) and the international development organization ActionAid Bangladesh on the day.
Eshrat Sharmin, senior research associate at Sanem, made a presentation on the needs of youths as reflected in the national budget for FY2020-21.
In her presentation, she said the budget did not allocate enough for the new poor and the unemployed.
The budget did not expand youth-centric projects, nor did it raise the issue of youths’ mental health, Eshrat Sharmin remarked.
There had been no discussion in the budget about the unemployed in the informal sector, while the poor had been deprived of information technology opportunities, Eshrat observed.
Nahim Razzaq, MP and convener of Young Bangla, a national youth platform, said inter-ministerial coordination was very important in working for the younger generation.
He said a coordination cell was needed to maintain liaison with the support partners of an advisory panel and to take necessary action.
“It is important to collect quality data on youth and the Bureau of Statistics should play a leading role in this regard,” Nahim suggested.
He added that the National Skill Development Authority had not yet been able to play such an effective role.
Dr. Fahmida Khatun, executive director at the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD,) said the creativity and leadership qualities of the youth should be encouraged.
She emphasized the need for the establishment of a database of information on young people, unemployed youths, and young people who were not involved in education, employment or training.
“The ministries need to increase their efficiency and capacity and more emphasis needs to be placed on technology-based education”, she added.
Farah Kabir, country director, ActionAid Bangladesh, said the country needed to look at the development of young people not only through the lens of economics, but also from the point of view of their social and mental development.
Belayet Hossain Talukdar, additional secretary, secondary and higher education division, Ministry of Education; Nazibul Islam, additional secretary, ministry of expatriates' welfare and overseas employment and Omar Faruque, joint secretary, technical and madrasah education division, ministry of education, also spoke among others.