This is the second budget of this government during the ongoing pandemic. According to a non-governmental census, over 60 million people are now categorised as lower-middle class. Many of them were demoted from middle class status during this pandemic, trying desperately not to descend under the poverty line. Despite the allocation of over Tk 107.6 billion for social security, the budget failed to become a refuge to these people with desperate needs, struggles and dreams.
These human beings used to traipse through each month, grab a workable wage and leap to another, celebrating momentary respite in between. But every now and then, in the face of some unplanned incident, their fragile rhythm breaks apart and they find themselves without any safety net. The budget plans to source the majority of its finance from them, through VAT, but does not consider ensuring for them any effective socio-economic security.
Star Multimedia presents the story of Ahmed Munni, one such individual. One can argue that her experience is unique and caused by the ongoing pandemic, or one can understand that she is just another middle class Bangladeshi, left out of the budget's consideration.