A major problem in the country is that those who are supposed to pay taxes are not doing so, Dr Mostafizur Rahman, distinguished fellow of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), said on Sunday.
"The world is facing three risks amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The risks are in the economy, health and food sectors. We can say without any doubt that there is no risk in our country's food sector," he said while addressing the Shadow Parliament on this year's budget amid Covid-19, organised by Debate for Democracy.
During his address, he highlighted some of the issues that the country's youths can focus on.
Mostafizur said 4-6% of GDP should be allocated for the education sector, but it was only 2%.
The health sector implemented only 25% of its budget in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year. Can it execute 75% in the remaining two months? If so, there will be questions about its standard, he also said.
Black money is being whitened, which is no way beneficial to the country's economy, the CPD fellow said, adding that about Tk50,000 crore is being smuggled every year.
In the outgoing fiscal year, Tk14,000 crore in black money has been whitened. The government has to make rules so that black money cannot not be whitened, Mustafizur said.
Two-thirds of taxes are indirect ones, he said, adding that the country's general people pay most of such taxes.
He said direct taxes, along with government expenditure, need to be increased in the country.
"I fear the next fiscal year's budget will be revised. Implementing a quality budget is very important. There are many questions about the quality of the budget."
The original budget has not been implemented in the last 10 years. The implementation of revised budgets has been 90-93%, he further added.
Speaking at the event Chairman of Debate for Democracy Hasan Ahmed Chowdhury Kiran said, "Although the next year's proposed budget is said to be business friendly, the question has arisen in people's mind whether it is business friendly or privileged business friendly."
However, if business is conducive, if investment increases, employment will be created. There should have been more allocation for health and social security in the proposed budget, he said.
"There are no specific guidelines in the social security sector for the new poor and those who have lost their jobs amid Covid-19," he added.
Hasan also said the proposal to impose a 15% VAT on private educational institutions in the year's proposed budget for FY22 will put pressure on students' tuition fees. The government should consider withdrawing it in this Covid situation.
He further said according to the statement given by the finance minister, ensuring livelihoods by vaccinating 80% of the country's population in the next financial year can be a challenge. As per his statement, 2.5 million people will be vaccinated every month, in this way, 30 million people can be vaccinated next fiscal year.
Dhaka Commerce College as the government party and Govt Bangla College as the opposition party participated in the debate competition. Crests and certificates were awarded to the participating teams at the end of the competition.