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Budget FY2024-25

Control inflation and bring it down to a manageable level

Finance Minister Abul Hasan Mahmud Ali presented the proposed budget for the 2024-2025 fiscal year in the National Parliament today, Thursday, June 6. This is his first budget presentation as Finance Minister. In a country like ours, drafting the national budget is always a highly complex task. It is impossible to please all sectors equally through the budget. In the announced budget, the new Finance Minister has tried to focus on nationally significant economic issues. This is a positive aspect of the budget.

For the new fiscal year, the highest priority has been given to controlling high inflation and bringing it down to a manageable level. To achieve this, initiatives have been taken to regulate imports. However, if import controls are implemented, the import of raw materials used in industries, capital machinery, and intermediate goods may also decrease. This could slow down private sector investment.

Imports need to be regulated in such a way that private sector investment is not harmed. The Russia-Ukraine war caused high inflation globally. However, most countries have already managed to bring high inflation down to manageable levels through various measures. In contrast, Bangladesh has not yet visibly succeeded in controlling high inflation.

The inflation rate has been above 9 percent for more than two years. We need to investigate why we are not succeeding in controlling high inflation and take necessary preventive measures. The measures proposed in the budget to control high inflation are logical and good. However, we must ensure that these initiatives are effectively implemented.

The GDP growth target for the 2024-25 fiscal year has been set at 6.75 percent. However, at this moment, bringing inflation down to a manageable level is more urgent than achieving high growth.

The economy of a developing country like Bangladesh is being affected by the damage caused by climate change. The government is aware of the losses resulting from climate change. The proposed budget includes some measures to address the impacts of climate change. However, I believe that the budget allocation for combating climate change should be increased.

Author: Economist and Chairman, Dhaka School of Economics.

Transcribe: M A Khaleque

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