Dhaka, May 25 (UNB) – President of Bangladesh Economic Association (BEA) Prof Abul Barkat on Saturday said the price of per maund paddy should be fixed at Tk 1,200 so that farmers do not have to count losses.
“Farmers don’t get fair prices for their paddy. They counted a loss of Tk 500 per maund of boro paddy this year. So, the price of paddy should be fixed at least at Tk 1,200 each maund,” he said.
The renowned economist was placing an alternative budget of Tk 1,240,090 crore for 2019-2020 fiscal year at a press conference at Cirdap auditorium in the capital to build a discrimination-free society and economy.
On behalf of the BEA, he also proposed a revenue income to the tune of Tk 1,002,510 crore where 69 percent will come from direct tax while the rest from indirect tax.
Abul Barkat expressed the hope that the alternative budget will be a foreign debt-free one although there is a deficit of Tk 237,580 crore.
He also said they have identified 20 new sources of revenue. “The government can fetch additional Tk 95,000 crore from three sources -- preventing money laundering, recovering black money and wealth tax.”
The BEA chief proposed a highest allocation of Tk 284,500 crore for education and technology.
He proposed at least 5 percent allocation of GDP in education sector to resolve unemployment problem. “Around 30 lakh people enter the labour market every year but 20 lakh of them don’t get jobs.”
He also prioritised administration, transportation and communication, power and energy, health, social safety and welfare sectors.
Abul Barkat also put emphasis on keeping aside Tk 3,000 crore in the budget for agriculture as well as farmers of the country.
He also said the government can earn additional revenue of Tk 2,500 crore from cigarette, Tk 1,000 crore from bidi and Tk 1,000 crore from tobacco products.