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Hard to implement budget as stakeholders’ voice is missing

Staff Correspondent: (18 June 2017) The implementation of budget in Bangladesh hits snags due to lack of participation of stakeholders in its making, says former bureaucrat Akbar Ali Khan.
Khan, who served as a finance adviser to caretaker government, says that even finance ministry officials are not consulted on formulating the budget proposals, let alone ministers or lawmakers.
His remarks came yesterday while speaking at a discussion on the new budget, organised by research organisation Centre for Policy Dialogue or CPD at Dhaka’s Lakeshore Hotel.
The discussion styled ‘CPD Budget Dialogue 2017’ was also joined by Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, State Minister for Finance MA Mannan and former commerce minister Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury. On June 1, Finance Minister AMA Muhith unveiled a Tk 4 trillion budget for fiscal 2017-18 in parliament, which he claimed to be the ‘best’ among the 11 he had proposed.
“The MP and ministers have no roles in formulating the budget, not even the parliamentary standing committees,” said Khan, who retired as the cabinet secretary.
A new tax proposal is not even discussed at the finance ministry, said the former finance secretary.
“The finance minister prepares the budget according to the prime minister’s instruction. Since there’s no participation of lawmakers it’s tough to implement it.”

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