Budget discussion

Today 14 June 2018, nine civil society networking organizations on climate change coordinated by COAST Trust and EquityBD has organized a press conference at national press club and demand to give focus climate resilient Infrastructure development for climate Financing in upcoming national budget for 2018-19 fiscal year. They also criticize government for coating the traditional development budget as climate finance. They urged government to ensure adequate and additional new budget for climate resilient economy and building adaptive capacity of coastal people.

The press conference is moderated by M Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Chief Moderator of EquityBD and key demand is read out by Syed Aminul Hoque of same organization. Among the others, Mr. Quamrul Islam Chowdhury, President-Federation Environment Journalist Forum Bangladesh, Motahar Hossain, Secretary-Climate Change Journalist Forum, Mrinal Kanti of Bangladesh Indigenous People Network on Climate Change and Badrul Alam of Bangladesh agriculture federation has spoken in the event favor of the demands.

Presenting the key demand, Syed Aminul Hoque said, this is good that government is preparing report on climate finance but observation showing on 2018-19 proposed budget for climate finance amount BDT 18,948 crore (8.82% of proposed budget) in fact color coating of climate finance on traditional development expenditure those done in previous. Following this observation, the group made four recommendation for 2018-19 new budget those are (i) Government must ensure new and additional budget as climate finance out of traditional allocation (ii) Separate between growth orient infrastructure and climate fighting infrastructure and will make allocation accordingly to save climate vulnerable people (iii) Expedite the preparation of NAP-National Adaptation Plan with mass participation and ensure budget for required adaptation finance, (iv) Ensure transparency and accountability of climate finance along with BCCTF-Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund.

Mr. Quamrul Islam said that the proposed climate finance is inadequate to fight climate change impact. Apart govt. suffering lack of capacity of her NIEs (National Implementing Entities) to influence the global climate financing process. He recommended to build up NIEs capacity to mobilize additional global finance that ease govt. to more support on climate finance.

Mr. Rezaul Karim opined, that government should follow her own climate change strategy plan, identify the climate hot spots for appropriate climate action and allocate budget accordingly through setting priority to develop specific climate resilient infrastructure.

Mr. Badrul Alam said that implementing climate finance activities under “Trust Fund” is questionable to mass as this has hardly impact in climate change arena. Even this year government didn’t allocate money for this fund which is a setback for implementing climate change action plans. He demand to engage the mass with the process, implementation and monitoring of trust fund. Motahar Hossain said cyclone SIDR and Aila has damaged major part of coastal embankments those we need to construct with new high to face tidal surge. Apart salinity is a new problem looming cause of mass displacement. Government should importance these issues and increase budgetary allocation.
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Today 13 June 2018, twenty right based civil society networking organizations coordinated by EquityBD has organized a human chain in front of national press club and urged government to emphasize Income Tax instead VAT (Value Added Tax) for revenue mobilization and implementing 2018-19 national budget. They also raised voice on inefficiency of bank sector and demanded to strengthen Central Bank to stop loop holes in capital flight and ensure governance in financial Sector.

The human chain is moderated by Mostafa Kamal Akand-Networking Coordinator of EquityBD and key demand is read out by Md. Ahsanul Karim of same organization. Among others Mr. BadrulAlam from Bangladesh agriculture federation, Mr. Jayed Iqbal Khan, Syed Aminul Hoque from COAST Trust and Mr. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury from EquityBD spoke in the event.

Md. Ahsanul Karim from the group has drawn the following recommendations these are (1) To increase corporate tax as direct tax rather than VAT as indirect tax and also to increase the minimum tax free income from 2,50,000 to 3,50,000 (2) Strengthen Central Bank to establish governance in Financial Sector (3) Establishing central bank control over the banks and forming a strong bank commission to save people money (4) all transaction which is more than $2000 must be through bank transfer and with TIN, (5) publication of white papers of Bangladeshi’s in Malaysia 2nd Home Program, (6) publication of white papers and report on stock exchange debacle, plundering of money from public banks, and Bangladesh Bank money heist and all above (7) shunning the path of confrontational politics and space to the free growth of democratic institutions, so that people and business man will feel sense of security and they will not try for illicit flow.

Syed Aminul Hoque from EquityBD said that revised VAT slab will increase VAT rate and increase burden for poor because they are enjoy these lower slab of VAT. Government failed collect income tax from trade and big economic activities, that’s why mounting on poor for revenue which injustice.

M Rezaul Karim Chowdhury from Equity BD said that Finance minister did not keep his commitment in respect of establishing a neutral and a strong bank commission which will assist the bank owners to plunder more public money from banks. He also said that due to reduce bank corporate tax of 2.5%, Govt. will lose about Tk.100 crore as extra revenue which will indeed make the bank owners more rich.

Md. Badrul Alam of Krishak Federation said that Government has reimbursed more than 10,000crore of as capital refilling from 2006 to 2017 to the state running banks who are suffering from capital deficits because of corruption mostly done by the different companies (Hallmarks, Mismilla Group, Crescent Leather, etc) and supported by politically appointed directors of those banks. The supported money most collecting from hard earn people as tax.

Kader Hajari of Arpan said that Govt. is heavily relying on VAT collection which is 33.7% excess target than FY 2017-18. He also mentioned that Govt. has emphasis to collect income tax from individuals rather than corporate. It is about 58.4% excess target set out for individual income tax where the corporate ta is 15.9% than the FY 2017-18. The government has not enhanced tax free income level and it will create extra burden for middle income earn people and the poor.
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Dhaka, 11 June 2018.Today in a press conference 12 local and national farmers’ organization expressed their frustration over the inadequate allocation for the agriculture in the proposed national budget for the year of 2018-19. Today from a press conference organized in the National Press Club the organizers also demanded visionary and Specific Allocation to Face the Long-Term Challenges Towards Achieving the Food Security Demanded.

The press conference titled ‘Only 2.99% allocation for the sector with 46% of labour force is really not appropriate: We Demand specific allocation and initiative to solve recent and long term crisis of the farmers of Bangladesh’ was jointly organized by Coastal Farmers’ Association, Bangladesh Fish Workers Alliance, Bangladesh Agricultural Farm Labour Federation, National Women Farmers and Workers Association, Bangladesh Adibashi Samity, Haor Farmers and Fishers Alliance, Gram Labour Resource Centre, Nolchira Pani Unnayan Somity, Dighon CIG, Kendriyo Krishak Moitree, Bangladesh Farmers’ Forum and COAST Trust.

The press conference was moderated by Mustafa Kamal Akand of COAST Trust and Md. Mujibul Haque Munir, Secretariat Coordinator of Bangladesh Farmers Forum presented the key positions of the group. Among others Abdul Majid, secretary of Bangladesh Agricultural Farm Labour Federation, Md. Shahabuddin, Secereaty of Secretary of Coastal Farmers Association, Samsuzzaman Khokon, Chief of the Gram Unnayan Sanagstha and Syed Aminul Haque, Secetary of EquityBD also spoke at the occasion.

Md. Mujibul Haque Munir said, the allocation for agriculture proves that, the proposed budget clearly does’t pay proper attention to the agriculture sector. Though the total budget has been increased by about 16%, the allocation for the ministry of agriculture has been decreased by 0.41%! In the Annual Development Plan the allocation for the ministry is only 1.1%, while about 46% of the total labour force is engaged with important sector. Agriculture sector is already experiencing negative impact of climate change, our agricultural land is decreasing by 1% each year, due rapid urbanization we are also losing land, food deficit is increasing- these challenges are going to create serious threats for Bangladesh in achieving food security, budget allocation must keep those challenges in mind, special allocation is needed to enhance our capacity to face these challenges in future. Unfortunately, the proposed budget doesn’t not seem to consider those.

Syed Aminul Haque said, by 2050 demand for food crops will be increased by 30%, but we are experiencing bellow 1 percent crop production growth during last three years. If this trend is going on, Bangladesh will be in serious threat regarding the food security, In the proposed budget there in reflection of preparation for such crisis.

Abdul Majid said, excise duty has been increased to 28% in rice import, but this will not bring any benefit for the farmers, as they have already sold their production. This initiative will benefit the middlemen. Rice collection time must be reconsidered so that marginalised farmers can be benefited.

Saiduzzaman Khokon said, farmers are not getting just price of their products, our demand was a Price Commission, the budget once again has ignored that demand.

Md. Shahabuddin said, in 2017-18 allocation for agriculture subsidy was 9000 crore taka, but 3000 crore taka was not spent. We demand to increase the allocation for subsidy as well as the proper utilization of the allocation. in many cases agriculture subsidy is going to wrong hands, who are not involved with agriculture. This has to be changed.

Mothahar Hossain said, just price of the farmers production must be ensured. Special attecntion in regard in the budget is needed.
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Dhaka, 24 May 2018.Today in a press conference 12 local and national farmers’ organization strongly recommended special allocation in the upcoming budget to build permanent embankment to save coastal agricultural land. From a press conference organized today in the National Press Club, they also demanded National price commission to ensure just price of their agricultural products. The press conference titled ‘We Demand Fair Price Commission for Agriculture Production: Permanent Embankment is Must to Save Coastal Agricultural Land’ was jointly organized by Coastal Farmers’ Association, Bangladesh Fish Workers Alliance, Bangladesh Agricultural Farm Labour Federation, National Women Farmers Association, Bangladesh Adibashi Samity, Haor Farmers and Fishers Alliance, Gram Labour Resource Centre, Nolchira Pani Unnayan Somity, Dighon CIG, Kendriyo Krishak Moitree, Bangladesh Farmers’ Forum and COAST Trust.

The press conference was moderated by Mustafa Kamal Akand of COAST Trust and Md. Mujibul Haque Munir, Secretariat Coordinator of Bangladesh Farmers Forum presented the key positions of the group. Among others Abdul Majid, secretary of Bangladesh Agricultural Farm Labour Federation, Md. Shahabuddin, Secereaty of Coastal Farmers Association, Samsuzzaman Khokon, Chief of the Gram Unnayan Sanagstha also spoke at the occasion.

Md. Mujibul Haque Munir said, 46% of our labour resource are engaged with the agriculture sector, our food security depends on this sector, so at least 20% of total national budget should be allocated for agriculture sector. But even though the size of the national budget is increasing every year, budget for agriculture sector is not increasing proportionately. The national budget of 2017-18 was increased about 30% compared to the budget of 2016-17, but allocation for agriculture was reduced by 0.81%. In the budget of fiscal year 2016-17, allocation for agriculture was 4.01% of the total budget, but in 2017-18 it was reduced to 3.4%. In the Annual Development Plan allocation for the Ministry of Agriculture was only 1.2% of total ADP! One big change in this trend must take place to save out farmers and to save our agriculture.

Abdul Majid said, farmers must control the seed, they must have the seed sovereignty. We have to reduce our dependency on multinational seed companies. We can easily do to that we can make Bangladesh seed sufficient by ensuring capacity building if the Bangladesh Agricultural Development Centre (BADC). We demand special allocation for this public institution.

Md. Shahabuddin said, farmers of Bhola had to spent about 600 taka to produce each 100 Kgs of rice, but the price was just 400 to 450! ensure just price of the farmers’ product, we need to reform the current paddy collection system of the government. Farmers have to sell their rice as soon as they get it from the field, government must start the collection considering that time. But, the process usually starts at a time when farmers already sell their product. Thus, the middlemen are getting the benefits of the government process. We demand national price commission which will supervise the overall process and will ensure just price.

Saiduzzaman Khokon said, in many cases agriculture subsidy is going to wrong hands, who are not involved with agriculture. This has to be changed. In all budget and plan of agriculture participation of farmers must be ensured.

Mustafa Kamal Akanda said, each year we are losing 1% of our agricultural land, about 1 million people are becoming homeless due to river erosion. We demand social allocation to build permanent embankment to save the coastal agricultural land.

The organizers also demanded special initiatives to enhance the jute production, to restrict use of GMO seeds, and control use of agricultural land for other purposes.
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IMG_1469_IndexOn 06 June 2017. Today in a press conference, 14 rights based citizens’ and farmers organizations protested the inadequate allocation for agriculture in proposed national budget for 2017-18 fiscal year. They demanded at least 20% of the total budget for this sector to ensure food security and climate resilience agriculture. The proposed budget for agriculture is very insufficient and it’s reflecting the government strategic failure in case of long term climate resilient sustainable agriculture to ensure national food security, they opined. The farmers organizations placed some specific demands in this regard, such as: i) Budget allocation for agriculture must be increased specially to fight climate change impacts that ensure sustainable food security, ii) Subsidies will have to increase with effective manner and commensurate with current context of global competitiveness and to save marginal farmers, iii) Government must take necessary initiative to ensure fair price of agriculture product through formation of national Price Commission, iv) Impose ban on so-called hi-breed and GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) seeds and v) Introduce agriculture education for farmers that can facilitate them to practical knowledge for climate adaptive agriculture.

The press conference titled “Effective budgetary allocation must be ensured for climate resilient agriculture” was moderated by Mustafa Kamal Akand, Assistant Director of COAST Trust and key note was presented by Syed Aminul Hoque, Secretary of EquityBD. Among others Mr. Badrul Alam, President Bangladesh Krishak Federation, Zayed Iqbal Khan, president of Bangladesh Krishak Federation (Ji) also spoke at the press conference.

Syed Aminul Hoque said, there are clear confusion between the sympathy to the agriculture shown by the Finance Minister and the allocation he has made for the sector. The budget speech recognizes that, our economy depends on agriculture and 45% of our population depend on this sector for their livelihood. For the livelihood of 45% of the population, only 3.4% of the total budget has been allocated. In ADB it is only 1.2%! This type of inadequate allocation is suicidal for our food security. Reducing subsidies makes our marginal farmers vulnerable and falling into hardship condition to survive in global competition. He demanded effective policies for fair access to subsidies for the marginal farmers.

Mr. Badrul Alam said, our population is increasing and the agriculture growth rate is decreasing. Government is talking about increasing production by providing good quality seeds to the farmers. But allocation for the BADC does not reflect such plan of the government. Badrul Alam Said, the budget speech opts for imposing tax on rice import to ensure fair price for the farmers. But this is not enough, to ensure fair price the process and iliy of rice collection form farmers must be changed. Rice must be collected when it is with farmers hand. A national fair Price Commission is must to ensure just oroce of farmers’ production. Zayed Iqbal Khan Said, to save our agriculture we need to save the land. In every year about 10 lakh people are losing their almost everything due to river erosion. We demand special allocation in proposed national budget for protection of farmers from river erosion, tidal surge and sea level rise.
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IMG_0938_IndexDhaka, 21 May 2017. Today 14 rights based citizens’ and farmers’ organizations demanded 20% of the upcoming national budget for agriculture. They also opined that, reducing agriculture subsidy based on the prescription of the WTO, IMF and others will be suicidal towards achieving self-reliance on food and in ensuring food security. They also placed 7 specific demands to consider in the upcoming budget form a press conference held in the National Press Club today. Some key demands are i) Allocation for agriculture should be at least 20% of the total budget. ii) Subsidy for agriculture must be increased, effective utilization of that subsidy must be ensured. iii). National Price Commission is a must to ensure just price for farmers. iv). Ban of import of harmful foreign seeds and promotion of local seeds, and v) Special attention to bring back the golden era of jute.

The press conference titled, “We demand 20% of the budget for agriculture: Reducing Subsidy for Agriculture will be Suicidal for National Food Security” was moderated by Mustafa Kamal Akand, Assistant Director of COAST Trust. Among others Syed Aminul Haque, Secretary of EquityBD, Badrul Alam, President Bangladesh Krishak Federation, Sajeda Begum, President of Kendriy Krishak Moitri, Zayed Iqbal Khan, president of Bangladesh Krishak Federation (Ji) also spoke at the occasion. On behalf of the organizers, Md Mujibul Haque Munir, Assistant Director of COAST Trust presented the group’s position paper.

In the position paper, Md. Mujibul Haque Said, more than 50% of the total populations of Bangladesh depend on agriculture for livelihood, about 45% of total labour force are engaged in this sector. But the growth rate of agriculture is declining almost every year. In 2010, the growth rate was 6.5% and it is 2,6% in 2016. Rapid shrinkage of agricultural land (1% per year) and rapid urbanization (12% in each year) are making the sector vulnerable. So, to make Bangladesh self-reliance in food allocation for agriculture must be increased proportionately. But allocation for agriculture in the national budget is declining on a regular basis. Allocation for agriculture in current budget is only 4.30% of the total budget. Last year budget for the agriculture ministry was 5.12%. So, agriculture gets 0.82% lower allocation compared to the previous year budget. This trend must be changed. About 20% of the total budget should be allocated for agriculture.

Syed Aminul Haque said, WTO, IMF and other international agencies are forcing to reduce the subsidy in agriculture. According to WTO Nairobi decision developing countries will remove subsidies within 2023, Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and net food-importing countries will do that within 2030. It means countries like Bangladesh has to stop all its supports towards agriculture. Exporting rice is a very dangerous decision for Bangladesh. If rice is considered as an export item, Bangladesh will not be allowed to provide subsidy even in rice cultivation which will be very much suicidal for us.

Badrul Alam Said, we demand Just Price Commission to ensure just and fair price of the farmers’ production. Farmers are not getting just price of the products due to faulty market mechanism. Middlemen are capturing all the benefits of the hard work of marginal farmers. The time of the paddy collection from farmers must be changed.

Zayed Iqbal Khan Said, to save our agriculture we need to save the land. In every year about 10 lakh people are losing their almost everything due to river erosion. We demand special allocation for the protection of farmers from river erosion, tidal surge and sea level rise.

Sajeda Begum said, Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries due to climate change. Our farmers must be provided capacity building support so that they can face the challenges of climate change.
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IMG_0450_IndexDhaka, 7th May 2017. Today  25 rights based civil society organizations along with EquityBD termed the VAT (Value Added Tax) as regressive to poor. Government is embarking on this with IMF (International Monetary Fund) prescriptions, so there should not be emphasize on VAT, which is indirect tax, there should be more emphasize on direct tax, the opined.  They also criticised the government as they found hardly any political will of government to arrest Blank Money and illicit flow which is ever increasing, they urged for an announcement in this regard from the government in next budget session.
The call was from a press conference title “New VAT as Regressive to Poor: We Demand Announcement of Measures against Black Money and Illicit Flow in Next Budget”, held at National Press Club today. The press conference was moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury from EquityBD, other speakers of the press conference was Monowar Mostafa from Development Synergy Institute, Asgar Ali Sabri from Action Aid Bangladesh, Aminur Rasul Babul from Upkuliya NGO Jote and Badrul Alam from Bangladesh Krishok Federation.
Ahsanul Karim Babor from the group presented the written position paper which elaborated 13 recommendations in this regard, where major demands are in taking examples from India. These are (i) asking annual bank statement from all dual citizens, (ii) initiatives to have tax and bank transparency agreement with different countries, (iii) all transaction which is more than $2000 must be through bank transfer and with TIN, (iv) publication of white papers of Bangladeshi’s in Malaysia 2nd Home Program, (iv) consideration of banning money note and bring them in bank account taking the examples from recent rupee 500 and 1000 note banning in India, (v) publication of white papers and report on stock exchange debacle, plundering of money from public banks, and Bangladesh Bank money heist and all above (vi) shunning the path of confrontational politics and space to the free growth of democratic institutions, so that people and business man will feel sense of security and they will not try for illicit flow.
Monowar Mostafa of Development Synergy Institute said state cannot ignore the principle of ability of payment of its citizen, VAT defeats this principles which is against the sense of social democracy. Asgar Ali Sabri said that government hardly follow a democratic and inclusive process for preparation of budget and setting tax principles. Aminur Rasul Babul of Upokuliya NGO Jote said that due to the new VAT law savings of poor families will be eroded and then the investment toward education and health will be hampered. Badrul Alam of Bangladesh Krishok Federtation said that, majority of the farmers will be loser due to the new VAT law. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury the moderator of the press conference said, government must stops the loopholes first to do local resource mobilization prior to embark on new law on tax mobilization.
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Dhaka 22 June 2016. Today in a roundtable jointly organized by the Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on MoF&E and COAST Trust in the conference room of Parliament Media Center, titled “Climate Change Impact, Recent Cyclone and Save Coast” around 35 coastal Member of Parliaments (MP) said that they need embankment to protect coastal people, lands and livelihoods, not relief, this is also the number one demand from the local people.

The round table Chaired by Dr. Hasan Mahmud, the Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on MoF&E; Chief Guest of the Roundtable was Barrister Anisul Islam Mahmud, Minister Water Resource; other key speakers of the roundtable were climate expert Dr Atiq Rahman, Sajahan Kamal MP, Talukder Abdul Khaleque MP, Ex Minister KM Jahangir MP, Mrs Jebunness MP, Ashiq Ullah MP, Nahim Newaz MP, Nabi Newaz MP, Rahim Ullah MP, Nuurn Nabi Shaon MP, Tipu Sultan MP, Mohammed Elias MP,  Shamsuddoha of CPRD and Aminur Rasul Babul of Unnayan Dhara Trust. Key note presentation was given by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of COAST Trust.

In his key note presentation, Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of COAST Trust said that, almost all coastal districts or around 17 % of total land of the country will go under water by next 50 to 100 years due to the impact of climate change, but there are technology by which the coastal areas coul’d be saved, but it needs huge investment and political will. Critical infrastructure to protect people should also be a priority along with the infrastructure needed for growth.  Around 28 % of total population of Cox’sbazar district were affected by cyclone Roanu which is the highest in country, among the migrated people due to the cyclone the highest i.e. 8 % is from the district, He said that worst impact is in Kutubdia Island are where saline water sets into 3 unions out of 6 unions twice every day.

Tipu Sultan MP said that if coastal lands are not protected we will not be able to sustain our food self-sufficiency. Ashik Ullah MP said that, water development board must sit with coastal MPs to prepare planning and projects in this regard. Sajahan Kamal MP said that all the coastal MPs must approach Honorable Prime Minister for special allocation and planning for coastal area. Jebunnesa MP also said even she cannot go to her area, because people always said that, they do not want to beg, they need embankment. Nabi Newaz MP said that river erosion and tidal surge impact equally both to the poor and rich. Barrister Anisul Islam Mahmud, the Minister of Water Resources said that like Netharland Bangladesh can also save its coastal land, where Bangladeshi coastal lands are not under sea level they are above the sea level,  but government cannot alone do the job with its resources, development partners need to come forward with resources and technology. Dr Atiq Rahman of BCAS said that in respect of climate change adaptation, our government must make embankments to protect coastal people on priority basis.

In conclusion the Chair of the roundtable, Dr. Hasan Mahmmud, said that he construction of embankment and coastal forestation has to be integrated; finance Minister needs to consider more allocation to water development board, he also emphasized that water development board must take new approach in this regard. Last Edited 20 March 2017

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IndexDhaka, 18th June 2016. Today 28 civil society, labour and farmers organizations criticized the Finance Minister and the govt. as the proposed national budget 2016 – 17 has ignored the dire situation of the cyclone Roanu affected coastal people. They expressed their grievance on during a human chain and rally held today in front of the National Press Club. They said, the last 23rd May cyclone Roanu have had devastating impact in 19 costal districts, taken 23 lives and around 20 millions of people living open sky and with little drinking water now, especially the Kutubdia Island in the verge of extension. But the proposed budget has not proposed any curative measures to address the recent suffering of the coastal people. They have demanded, government must consider sustainable infrastructure like concrete block embankment and dike to protect coastal lands and people from cyclone and monsoon tidal surge as another one priority project in the budget 2016-17.

In the position paper of the group they have given specific nine demands in this regard, where major demands are (i) allocation of taka 6.5 thousand corore to protect Coxsbazar coastal area including Kutubdia island from cyclone and tidal surge, (ii) allocation of taka 6 thousand corore to protect the Bhola island districts from river erosion, (iii) reformation of water dev board to make it officials accountable to local upazila and zila parishad, ensure transparency and people participation in their work, (iv) engage armed forces for critical construction especially in Kutubdia and Bhola island, (v) undertaking protection infrastructure of coastal people and land as one priority mega project from this fiscal year of 2016-17 and (vi) Coastal areas must be protected with afforestation.

The rally was moderated by Mostafa Kamal Akhanda of COAST Trust, Mr. Subol Sarkar of Bangladesh Bhumihin Somity, Mr Aminur Rasul Babul of Unnayan Dhara Trust, Zayed Iqbal Khan of Bangladesh Krishak Federation, Mihir Biswas of Poribesh Bachao Andolon and Syed Aminul Haque of EquityBD.
Subol Sarkar said, embankment for the Roanu affected areas is must. Since it is not possible during this rainy season, affected families have to suffer till the August and so, they should be provided special ration. Aminur Rasul Babul said, after 60 and 70 decades there almost no action has been taken to build or reform the coastal embankments. Mega projects are being taken in the cities only. We demand mega projects to save the coastal areas too. Syed Aminul Haque said, Bangladesh is the one of the most vulnerable countries due to the climate change. Climate adaptation plan or poverty eradication plan can’t be successful without protecting the coastal people from their very common sufferings.

Led by COAST Trust co organizers of the rally were Online Knowledge Society, Arpon, Uddipan, Udyan Bangladesh, Unnayan Dhara Trust, SDS, Krishasni Shova, Grameen Jono Unnayan Sangsta, Jatiya Krishani Sromik Shomiti, Jatiya Sramik Jote, Dak Diye Jai, Docap, Dwip Unnayan Sangsta, Nolcity Model Society, Phals, Pirojpur Gono Unnayan Shomity, PRAN, Prantojon, PSI Bangladesh, Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Bangladesh Bhumihin Shomity, Bangladesh Agriculture Labor Farm Association, Labor Resource Centre, Sangkalpa Trust, Songram, CDP and Humanity Watch.

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IndexDhaka, 15th June 2016. A group of rights based civil society organizations have termed the proposed allocation for the agriculture sector in the national budget of 2016-17 as inadequate and inefficient. They said, the budget don’t have specific and effective measures to face the national and global challenges of the farmers of Bangladesh. They also demanded a Just Price Commission to ensure just price of the agricultural products. The CSOs representatives were speaking in a seminar held today in the national press club.

The seminar titled “Budget 2016-17:Allocation for the agriculture and future food security’ was jointly organized by Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (CSRL), Equity and Justice Working Group Bangladesh (EquityBD), Medium Term Cooperation Program (MTCP) and South Asian Association for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE). The seminar chaired by Sharmind Nilormi of CSRL was moderated by Mustafa Kamal Akand of COAST Trust while Md. Mujibul Haque Munir of EquityBd presented the keynote. Among others of Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee for the Ministry of Forest and Environment Tipu Sultan MP, Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee for the Ministry of Labour Welfare Israfil Alom MP, Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee for the Ministry of Social Welfare Monoronjon Shil Gopal MP, Dr. Jahagngir Alam of CSRL, Subal Sorkar of Bangladesh Bhumihin Somity, Zayed Iqbal Khan of Bangladesh Krishak Federation also spoke at the occasion.

In his key note presentation, Md Mujibul Haque Munir said, allocation for the ministry of agriculture in the budget of 2015-16 was the 4.21% of the total budget, while the proposed budget of 2016-17 allocates 4.01%, which is 0.19% lower, While the total is increased by about 29%. Allocation for the ministry of Agriculture in the Annual Development Plan has also been reduced. It was 2.00% in 2015-16 and the new budget proposes only 1.7% of the total ADP. Where against every 1 taka of subsidy farmers can refund about 15 taka to the exchequer, subsidy is once gain remained stagnant, we demand increased subsidy and proper utilization of that.

Dr. Jahangir Alom said, subsidy must reach the farmers directly. Government purchase centers can be at the village level. Subal Sarkar said, for the last couple of years the issue of just price of farmers product has been a huge issue. Rice cultivators are not even get their production cost. The proposed budget has nothing to address the problem.

Tipu Sultan MP said, Bangladesh is losing 1% of its land every year. Farmers of coastal areas are losing their land due to adverse climate. We need strong action to protect agricultural land form commercialization. By using chemical fertilizers and pesticides to increase our production we are actually killing our future. If we can’t stop excessive use of pesticides and fertilizers we will be in serious threats of food insecurity. Israfil Alom MP said, we need modern technologies for agriculture, Many of our farmers don’t have that much capacity to get ensure technologies, we will have to lend our support towards them in this regard. Our farmers are facing problems due to improper marketing mechanism, we will have to reform of marketing system. It should be farmers friendly. Monoronjon Shil Gopal MP said, the rice collection process form the farmers must be reformed. Government should collect rice from farmers instead of paddy. The time of collection should also be revised. Small scale farmers are not getting the benefits of subsidy in agriculture equipment. They should be provided loan with easy interest rate to collect equipment.

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Newspaper Link

Dhaka Tribune Business News 24
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Ittafique sonbad
Bangla news com Bhorer Dak