• Thursday, Jul 07, 2022
  • Last Update : 03:54 pm

ED: Let’s get real

  • Published at 06:34 pm June 12th, 2020
Budget FY 22
Photo: Bigstock

This can only mean that the government has set hopeful but unrealistic expectations regarding the resumption of economic activity

The recently passed budget for FY21 could have been a great opportunity to ensure that Bangladesh was prepared for a post-pandemic era, which will require an increasing focus on health and a social safety net.

Unfortunately, it has become mired by unrealistic projections in terms of expected revenue collection -- set at Tk378,000 crore -- and expected growth rate -- a whopping 8.2% -- which is next to impossible in the post-pandemic world, where businesses all across the country are taking massive hits due to stagnancy and inactivity.

This can only mean that the government has set hopeful but unrealistic expectations regarding the resumption of economic activity some time in the near future, an assumption we should not have made in times of such crisis, especially with both infection and death rates rising every day.

The coronavirus pandemic should have served as an impetus to take stock of the current situation and completely re-imagine how we think about our economy and what to prioritize.

Unfortunately, that has not been the case, with the social safety net we needed to revamp and expand focusing on existing programs, not anything new that would address the newness of the current situation and the more than 25 million people who have moved into the “extreme poor” category in the last few months.

We hope that the government will take this into account moving forward for, at this time in our history, we cannot afford to let the most vulnerable amongst us suffer.

The economy must adapt to fit a world quite different from the one we had before.

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