Do all expenditures really have a role in reducing poverty?
Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya said there are many sectors in budget the government claims to have poverty reducing impact that can be questioned.
The finance ministry persistently claims the government's expenditure for poverty reduction as percentage of budget has increased consistently over the years, but Dr Debapriya has pointed out that there are inexplicable sectors that are also said to have reduced poverty.
The budget documents showed the poverty incidence of expenditure on Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs Division was 74.5% in FY21 and will be 73.7% next fiscal year.
Debapriya said he did not understand how expenditure on this division can reduce poverty.
Similarly, the Statistics and Informatics Division has poverty incidence of 99.4%, the Bridges Division 96.7% and the Ministry of Defence 57.5% for the next fiscal year.
"I do not understand which expenditure on defence will go for poverty reduction?" he said. "If poverty incidence is so high for Bridges Division, does it mean that only the poor use bridges? How will spending on parliamentary affairs reduce poverty?"
He also questioned how the finance ministry got the figure that 1 million jobs have been created in the IT sector.
"There is no source cited and no time frame mentioned," Debapriya pointed out. "How many jobs will be created because of the proposed tax cuts? We do not find any evaluations of these things."