Former governor of the Bangladesh Bank Dr Atiur Rahman said we should have a budget for survival at this pandemic time, which has little been reflected in the national budget for the financial year 2020-21.
He said this while addressing as the chief guest a discussion on "Reflection of National Budget" organised by the faculty of Business and Entrepreneurship of Daffodil International University (DIU) on Sunday on the Facebook page of the university and Campus TV Facebook page.
Terming the Covid-19 crisis a global one, Dr Atiur suggested that the highest priority should be given to the health and agriculture sectors in this budget.
"People must be saved first. If people live, the economy will live. Therefore, the allocation in the health sector should be further increased and at the same time, that in the agriculture sector should be increased to save the rural economy," he said.
On the other hand, addressing as the special guest, Md Nurul Amin, immediate past secretary of the Planning Division, said in this budget, the health sector should be given the most attention and this is what the finance minister has done.
"Allocations for the health sector have been increased and a lump sum of Tk10,000 crore has been set aside to address the novel coronavirus crisis. Apart from this, the allocation in the agriculture sector has also been increased in this budget compared to the previous one."
He added that the implementation of the proposed budget requires the cooperation of all.
Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Shams Mahmud, as a special guest, said this year is the year of survival. "Survival should be everyone's goal, not profit."
He opined that the wheel of the economy should be kept moving for this purpose.
"The target of 51 percent revenue collection has been set in this budget but the private sector has not yet been fully opened."
He is sceptical about whether it would be possible to achieve the revenue collection target in this situation.
Professor Dr Mohammad Masum Iqbal, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Entrepreneurship of DIU, presided over the programme while it was conducted by Syed Mizanur Rahman, Director of Student Affairs, DIU.