What is Democratic Budget?
National budget or mass budget is the reflection of desire of the 150 million people of independent Bangladesh-it is not a vision or dream; it is matter of fact of constitutional right of all the citizen of the country. National development and removing poverty is not possible without the development of every citizens, individual and collective development of creeds and areas. For this, an equal national investment plan is needed which has to be properly designed on the basis of the individual characteristics and demands of every creeds and areas. it is essential to remind Special systems for equal national development and people who lacked behind described in the article no.19.1(a) in constitution.
At present, there is a very much centralized government in Bangladesh. Decisions are to takein the capital city for road construction or to get health service and education in remote areas. Not only the controlling procedures come from Dhaka but also the implementations are capital based. The central government is designed in such way that every subjects have to be reconsidered in various bureaucratic spheres, decision is making can be possible after crossing a dozen steps in minimum. In this system there is no accountability and the opportunity of bribe and harassment is used largely.
According to the constitution, strong local government is the demand of time. Administrational decentralization was the main issue of research, discussion and movement of strong local government for the last four decades. In this sector, the decentralization of national budget and development programs was absent besides the decentralization of administrational power in discussions. But it is important to ensure the direct participation of all citizens in national plan and development programs. On the basis of the articles of 11,59 and 60, it is important to decentralize the development programs and the structure of taxation. It is very much difficult task toensure everyone’s participation where the participation of the members of the parliament is limited in bureaucrat dependant and so much centralized national plan and budget. So effective mass participation is not possible without the decentralization of procedure and structure of budget. On the other side, transparency and accountability is about to absent in totalitarian activities due to the absence of direct participation of people for a long time in decision making process. As a result, corruption has become the biggest structural hindrance to the reducing poverty.
Why Democratic Budget Movement?
Just some days before a picture existed that only whether the price of goods increases or decreases was the main concern of people about budget. Once upon a time knowledge and study regarding budget was the discussed matter of the syllabus of the students of just Economics and Political Science. None was concerned about budgetwithout elite business class. The supporters of government party congratulated and opposite party rejected it respectively which covered the main roads as well as newspapers. At the various phases of uplifting the state system in democratic way after 90’s,a huge curiosity created among professionals, intellectuals, private bureaus and citizens and that’s why a new path of discussion about budget has broaden. At now peoples of all walks are seen to be involved in pre-budget discussion and reaction. Budget based on specific sectors like Budget of women, budget of farmers, budget of disables etc are proposed from different sides. Basically, increasing the allocation of budget based on specific field is thepurpose of this discussion. These proposals and discussions centered on budget are held to the top ranked personals of government. But we are suspicious that whether these proposals reach to them and we are working on it. And the honorable minister has a few opportunities to hear the demands of all walks after that of elite business class. So it is important to be familiar to the mass people for the man who submit budget and implement it to decentralize and democratize it. It is an attempt to make the activities of citizens and to build up a theoretical structure with this objective.
Local committees, development organizations, print media and development loving people are agreed to form pleader ship to reach these to central and local government. It is a serial process and everyone has to be united.
Main spirits of Democratic Budget
- Ensuring the direct participation of mass people in budget.
- Technically district based budget at initial stage and other local governments selected by laws will come by turns.
- Removing sector based budget allocation, rather than the inauguration of Allocation of budget district or local budget structure
- Differentiate the sections of national and local budget. Specify the sections such as education, health, women, child, expanding agriculture, industry, disaster program etc for decentralization in local sphere.
- Detecting the subsidiary sectors for national and local
- Increasing wealth and investment on the basis of local character and demands.
- Allocation of budget in Zilla,Upzilla and Union on the basis of injustice of taxation.
- Giving priority tothe most poverty stricken areas to ensure the equal national development.
- Considering the local and rational discriminations.
- Ensuring the effective participation of the MPs
- Making economic publication in details on the basis of districts /areas in parliament.
- Considering budget with neighborhood and environment and specifying other criteria’s.
- Not only logistics for local budget but also taking programs to develop the standard of service. Considering management effective man power -Reflecting the opinions of privilege holders and beneficiaries.
- Initialing E-governance system to involve people in budgetsystem.