Adopt SDG model for post-Covid reconstruction plan: CPD

Speakers at a webinar on Thursday suggested the government adopt the underlying structure of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for designing the national reconstruction plan in the aftermath of the devastation caused by COVID-19 to most sectors.

They also suggested the government include all the new challenges posed by the pandemic in the 8th 5-year-plan.The observations were made at the virtual dialogue on SDG’s new challenges and Budget 2020-21’ arranged by Citizen’s Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh.

Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, Convenor of the platform and Distinguished Fellow of Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), said around 1.75 crore people of the country are at risk of sliding into poverty (by falling below the poverty line) and 1.3 crore people are at risk of becoming newly unemployed

“We notice a weak financial structure in the proposed budget for 2020-21. The disparity in various sectors of society would go up further in the country. However, proper action plan is needed to implement the budget,” he also said.

Debapriya said the government should use the structure of SDGs in the national reconstruction plan and include all new challenges in the 8th five year plan.

“We strongly demand to the government for making divided information to meet the challenges. Transparency and accountability in all sectors of our society need to achieve the challenges of SDGs,” the noted economist also said.

Rasheda K Choudhury, a noted educator and former adviser to a caretaker government, said the education sector did not get due priority in the budget.

“The allocation for education sector is not enough. Private teachers don’t get their salaries now. Plus it’s not logical to increase the price of internet now,” she also said.

Dr. Iftekharuzzaman, Executive Director of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), said the government should prevent corruption at first to implement rule of law in the country.

“SDGs won’t be achieved if corruption and disparity are not eliminated. There is no guideline how to implement the allocations. The corrupt don’t get proper punishment now. Money launderers get facilities in the budget. The budget should be reconsidered to ensure rule of law and achieve the SDGs indexes,” he also added.

Dr Shamsul Alam, member (senior secretary) of the General Economic Division (GED) of Planning Commission, said the government laid emphasis on necessary sectors in the budget.

“The government is trying to give priority in realistic work plan to recover the crisis moment. We have short and medium term plans of three years to overcome the problems of COVID-19 alongside the 8th five year plan,” he added.

Dr Shamsul said “We need now to develop our skills and quality as well as ensure accountability to implement our activities.”

source: UNB