Lawmakers at a virtual discussion on Wednesday suggested adopting strategies in the eighth Five Year Plan (FYP) to reduce inequality and create skilled human resources.
They also demanded stern actions against corruption in the plan.
"Our economy is moving forward, but with it comes inequality in income and wealth. Bangabandhu in his first five-year plan also underscored the need for reducing this inequality," Saber Hossain Chowdhury, a member of the Parliament Standing Committee on Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, said while addressing a view exchange meeting on the eighth five year plan.
Planning Minister MA Mannan presided over the meeting organised by the General Economics Department (GED) of the Planning Commission. Shamsul Alam, member of the Planning Commission, presented a keynote paper on the eighth FYP.
Saber Hossain the five-year plan calls for good economic governance. The demand for forming a banking commission has remained unheard for a long time.
Some initiatives in the previous five year plan have not been implemented. But why? This needs to be assessed, he added.
Rashed Khan Menon, chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Social Welfare Ministry, said the central bank cannot function independently. The central bank is implementing the decisions made by the finance ministry.
But the central bank must be allowed to operate independently to discipline the financial sector in implementing monetary policy. In this regard, reform is required in the eighth Five Year Plan. The lawmaker also emphasised reducing inequality.
Parliament Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury said skilled workers need to be created considering the job market. To this end, an emphasis should be laid on training.
"We need to pay special attention to women as we move towards inclusive growth," she said.
Women are playing a significant role in readymade garment, agricultural, and SME sectors. So, it is necessary to formulate a plan, prioritising them, Shirin Sharmin added.
Mukbul Hossain, chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Land Ministry, said there should be strategies for quality training to create skilled human resources in the eighth Five Year Plan.
Technical institutes in the country are now full of corruption. As a result, skilled manpower is not being created, he added.
Lawmaker Simin Hossain Rimi said there have been talks of strengthening local government, but corruption must be eradicated before taking this move.
Actual beneficiaries are getting allowances from social safety net programmes. Local leaders are using government allowances to win elections. Many even have included their relatives in the list of beneficiaries, she added.
Amir Hossain Amu, a member of the Standing Committee on the Ministry of Industries, said on the one hand, the country is now thinking of closing down state-owned sugar mills, the government is setting up 100 economic zones on the other hand. This is a contradictory decision.
The planning minister said there has been a lot of discussion about local government. We are now contemplating providing policy support, moving away from financial incentives and subsidies.
Inequality is on the rise and the government is aware of this. Discussions are underway within the government on strategies to tackle inequality, he added.
"The big problem in our country now lies in skill development. The government is also working on this issue. Besides, the government will think of stronger measures on how to eradicate corruption from the country," he pointed out.
Amir Hassan Amu, member of parliament (MP), Tofail Ahmed MP, Matia Chowdhury MP, Abul Kalam Azad MP, Shahjahan Khan MP, Meher Afroz MP, and Abida Anjum Mita MP also spoke virtually on the occasion.
Senior officials and dignitaries were also present virtually.