'The tax-management and banking sectors need some much-needed and urgent reforms, which has long been neglected'
The South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (SANEM) has welcomed the government’s stimulus package to address the coronavirus crisis, but emphasized the need for transparency, accountability and a strong stance against corruption.
"For the poor, the very poor, the marginalised population and the people who are suddenly vulnerable in the current situation, there’s a need to significantly increase the size and coverage of social security programs and the creation of new types of social security programs," said SANEM Executive Director Dr Selim Raihan on Monday, reports UNB.
"But there’s no emphasis on the informal sector in the announced financial package," he added.
Referring to past experiences, he said there are many gaps in the existing social security programs that hamper fulfillment of their objects.
The SANEM executive director further said the financial package requires a large allocation for the health sector, which is not mentioned in the announced financial package.
"It’s necessary to increase the allocation in the health sector by many folds in the budget. The government needs to cut down less important government spending to finance the increased allocation for the health sector," he said.
The tax-management and banking sectors need some much-needed and urgent reforms, which has long been neglected, in order to effectively arrange the money announced in this financial package, he added.
"Now is the time to take some politically feasible reforms and act against the vested interests in these two sectors," said the SANEM chief.
He also said care must be taken to ensure that the benefits of the financial package are not felt only by certain influential sectors and groups.
"In this case, it is necessary to make the financial package transparent and ensure transparency and accountability in implementing these policies," he added.