The Bangladesh government placed its 11th budget for the fiscal year 2019-20 on June 13 which amounted to Tk 5.23 trillion targeting 8.2 percent GDP growth rate. The proposal also aimed at achieving equitable development, smoothening employment generation, improving the business environment, reducing extreme poverty and assuring basic needs to the marginalised.
Well-thought-out economic policies facilitate progress in important areas; they help to reduce the unemployment rate, reduce extreme poverty, ensure rapid growth in infrastructural development and pave the way for higher literacy rates.
Yet, there are certain areas that should have been given more emphasis in the budget to reflect pro-poor development and an inclusive economy. Growing inequality; rise in non-performing loans (NPLs); massive capital flight; mismanagement of public funds; persistently poor corporate governance in the public sector; and poor budgetary allocation to health, education and safety benefits in comparison to other emerging economies are the main underlying challenges facing Bangladesh.
Stringent regulations and increased supervision of Bangladesh Bank will help reduce NPLs and tackle money laundering. Furthermore, increase in the proportion of direct tax; higher allocation towards social safety net; and establishing good governance will help pave the way for equitable development.