Inadequate budget allocation, lack of apt expenditure and coordinated approach in developing global standard skills are failing the country's youth, speakers at a roundtable said yesterday.
To overcome this inertia, they urged the government to increase budget allocation for youth notably from 0.27 percent and stressed the integration of marginalised youths in budget implementation process.
Bangla daily Prothom Alo and Oxfam in Bangladesh organised the roundtable on youth budgeting at a conference room of CA Bhaban in Dhaka.
Speaking as chief guest, Planning Minister MA Mannan said, “In fact, two-third of the population in the country are youth. To build a welfare state, we have to well-equip and mainstream the youths.”
The government has adopted integrated policy for youth development, whereas stability of policy is important, regardless of who comes to power in future, he said, urging the civil society to play a strong role in this regard.
Conducted by Sohrab Hossain, associate editor of Prothom Alo, representatives from different government and non-government youth organisations and youth entrepreneurs participated in the discussion.
Speaking at the event, lawmaker Abdullah Al Islam Jakob, chairperson of the permanent committee on youth and sports ministry, said, “Every youth will become a skilled worker.”
Md Abu Sumon, a public finance specialist, in his PowerPoint presentation showed that India earns remittance worth $72.2 billion with 13.9 million migrant workers, while Bangladesh earns $15.8 billion in remittance, with 7.6 million immigrant workers.
In the same account, Pakistan and Nepal earn $20.1 billion and $6.6 billion with 6.2 million and 2 million migrant workers respectively.
Amio Prapon, executive director of Dhrubotara Youth Development Foundation, said none of the 57 banks in the country has schemes for youth start-ups and the government allocation is too little.
Rezwana Prapti and Nusrat Jahan, members of Oxfam youth group respectively from Rangpur and Barishal, mentioned that rural youths are not integrated with the union parishads' youth budgeting.
SM Monjur Rashid, communications manager of Oxfam, said, “Deteriorating values and drug addiction are major problems for the youth. This must be included in plans for them.”
Agreeing with the discussion, Md Faruk Hossain, executive chairman of National Skills Development Authority (NSDA), said, “The government has already created a national human resource development fund. We hope to finalise the regulation to use the funds within six months.”
Nurul Islam, director of the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET), informed that arrangement of international certification from different foreign organisations in China, Korea, Australia, Singapore etc is under process.
Moazzem Hossain, deputy director of Directorate of Youth Development, and Ulfat Jahan, director of Women Chamber of Commerce Industry, among others spoke at the programme.