On May 13, Bangladesh Economics Student's Network (BESN) launched its first ever program: BESN Building Bridge Dialogue. They decided to discuss 'Campus View on Budget for Fiscal Year 2020-21'.
BESN is the first formal network of student bodies in the field of Economics from universities in Bangladesh. The network created an association of eleven Economics clubs across various universities in Bangladesh, according to a press release sent to media.
In this dialogue representatives from BRAC University, North South University, Bangladesh University of Professionals, Rajshahi University and Shahjalal University of Science and Technology were present. The session was moderated by a representative from University of Dhaka. The discussants talked about various sectors of our economy and their importance in the upcoming national budget.
At first, the health sector was discussed where Sadman Nafis from BRAC University suggested that the allocation for the health sector in the overall budget needs to be increased. The rest of the discussants talked about the importance of healthcare affordability, costs and providing the health sector with high tech instruments. They all said that the next budget should address all of these aspects.
Agriculture sector: Nafis Khan from Bangladesh University of Professionals suggested that the government should buy agricultural products from farmers at a fair price and distribute those at a much lower price among people who desperately need food assistance. Rafiul Ahmed from SUST said modernising the agricultural sector should be our top most priority. The rest of the panelists also suggested that in the next budget the government put emphasis on ensuring fair prices for farmers, modernising the agricultural sector and ensuring an efficient supply chain management.
Industrial sector (focusing on RMG sector): Chowdhury Wafee Daraiat from North South University said in the next budget it is extremely crucial for the government to take steps to ensure safety of workers.
Banking sector: Abdullah Al Noman from Rajshahi University said that expansionary monetary policy might be detrimental for the banking sector and this should be highlighted in the next budget.
Students also discussed how to increase the social safety net coverage of citizens during the pandemic.