The fourth South Asia Economic Network Conference on the “Sub national Finance and Local Service Delivery” was held on Sunday at the BRAC Centre Inn, Dhaka.
The conference was jointly organized by the South Asia Network on Economic Modelling (SANEM), South Asia Economic Policy Network, and the World Bank.
Discussion at the conference, presided over by Professor Shamsul Alam (a member at the General Economics Division of the Bangladesh Planning Commission), focused on the role of decentralization in improving education and health.
Dr. Bazlul Haque Khondker, the chairperson at SANEM, said that the local Government Institutions are not able to generate their own resources, nor does the central government assist them. “This tells us a lot about the way we are treating our local government institutions,” he said in conclusion.
Dr. Hans Timmer, the Chief Economist for South Asia, World Bank, said, “Decentralization could quickly lead to separation and fragmentation, which would be very unproductive. And that is probably even worse.”
Dr. Manish Gupta, Assistant Professor at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy in New Delhi, India; Sunera Saba Khan, research economist at the SANEM; and Dr. Gopi K. Khanal, Joint Secretary at the National Natural Resources and Fiscal Commission in Nepal were also present at the conference.