Bangladesh Economics Student’s Network (BESN) launched its first ever program “BESN Building Bridge Dialogue” on the 13th of May. The topic for the dialogue was ‘Campus View on Budget for Fiscal Year 2020-21’. BESN is the first formal network of student bodies in the field of Economics from universities in Bangladesh. Maximising joint welfare of this society is the sole mission. The network created an association of eleven Economics clubs across various universities in Bangladesh.
In this dialogue representatives from BRAC University, North South University, Bangladesh University of Professionals, Rajshahi University and Shahjalal University of Science and Technology were present. The session was moderated by a representative from University of Dhaka. The discussants talked about various sectors of our economy and their importance in the upcoming national budget.
At first, the health sector was discussed where Sadman Nafis from BRAC University suggested that the allocation for the health sector in the overall budget needs to be increased because we all saw how difficult it is for our health system to combat covid-19 crisis. The rest of the discussants talked about the importance of healthcare affordability, costs and providing the health sector with high tech instruments. They all said that the next budget should address all of these aspects.
After the health sector agriculture sector was discussed where Nafis Khan from Bangladesh University of Professionals suggested that the government should buy agricultural products from farmers at a fair price and distribute those products at a much lower price among people who desperately need food assistance. This is very important in times of crisis. Rafiul Ahmed from SUST also suggested that modernizing our agricultural sector should be the top most priority. The rest of the panelists also suggested that in the next budget the government put emphasis on ensuring fair prices for farmers, modernizing the agricultural sector and ensuring an efficient supply chain management.
Then came the topic of the industrial sector namely the RMG sector where Chowdhury Wafee Daraiat from North South University remarked that in the next budget it is extremely crucial for the government to take steps to ensure safety of workers. Apart from that increasing market share for the RMG sector, stimulus packages and proper maintenance of the sector were discussed.
Up next while discussing the banking sector Abdullah Al Noman from Rajshahi University suggested that expansionary monetary policy might be detrimental for the banking sector and this should be highlighted in the next budget.
Besides these sectors, how to increase the social safety net coverage of the citizens during the pandemic, how to allocate budget for education were discussed.