South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (SANEM) has said there is a need for a strong stance against corruption, and ensuring transparency and accountability in social security programmes.
"For the poor, the very poor, the marginalised population and the people who are suddenly vulnerable in the current situation, there’s a need to significantly increase the size and coverage of social security programmes and the creation of new types of social security programmes," said SANEM Executive Director Dr Selim Raihan on Monday.
Welcoming the government's financial package to address the crisis caused by the coronavirus, he said a large part of this large population is in the informal sector.
"But there’s no emphasis on the informal sector in the announced financial package," Selim said.
According to past experiences, he said, there are many gaps in the existing social security programmes so that the fulfillment of the objectives of these programmes is often hampered.
He said as they have suggested for the two-year economy recovery plan from SANEM, there are four things to keep in mind in the context of the forthcoming national budget.
SANEM executive director said this financial package requires a large allocation to the health sector, which is not mentioned in the announced financial package.
"It’s necessary to increase the allocation in the health sector by many folds in the budget. The government needs to cut down less important government spending to finance the increased allocation for the health sector," he said.
The tax-management and banking sectors need some much-needed and urgent reforms, which has long been neglected, in order to effectively arrange the money announced in this financial package, he said.
"Now is the time to take some ‘politically feasible’ reforms and act against the vested interests in these two sectors," said the SANEM chief.
He said care must be taken to ensure that the benefits of this financial package are not held in the hands of certain influential sectors and groups.
"In this case, it is necessary to make the financial package transparent and ensure transparency and accountability in implementing these policies," he mentioned.