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Budgetary allocations should focus on MDGs

May 20, 2009

Participants at a discussion held in Dhaka last week observed that issues such issues like financial crisis and climate change are pushing more people into poverty lines. It was felt that greater allocations should be made for agriculture, education and the protection of the environment to reflect needs of all.

Global financial recession, global climate change and epidemic of infectious diseases are all creating obstacles to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), said speakers at discussion held in Bangladesh last week.

These issues should be addressed in the upcoming budget as they are pushing more people below the poverty line, they added.

Bangladesh Unnayan Parishad (BUP) organised the discussion on 'Towards Achieving Millennium Development Goals in Bangladesh' at the National Press Club.

The speakers also called for equal distribution of wealth in order to alleviate poverty. Budgetary allocations should reflect the needs of all, they added.

BUP Chairman Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad said wealth is concentrated among only a few. This disparity must be eliminated first.

More allocations should be made for agriculture, education and the protection of the environment, he added.

Mir Nasir Hossain, former president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), said the upcoming budget should focus on developing skilled human resource and creating jobs.

Donation will not help alleviate poverty or create a self-reliant nation, he said and stressed the need to create greater employment opportunities.

He also called for promoting industrial and export-oriented sectors.

Rasheda K Chowdhury, former advisor to the caretaker government and chairperson of People's Forum on MDGs, said there is a huge disparity in the education sector.

Ensuring quality education is crucial to achieving other goals, she said, adding that political will is a must for it.

Hafiz Majumder MP, Prof Dr Moinul Islam, former deputy director of Bangladesh Bank Khondaker Ibrahim Khaled and senior journalists Jaglul Ahmed and Syed Abul Maksud also spoke.

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