Democratization and Decentralization of National Budget a Concept Paper Democratic Budget ২০১৩

 

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 andpeople who lacked behind described in the article no.19.1 (a) in constitution. At present, there is a very much centralized governmentin Bangladesh. Decisions are to take in 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 systemthere 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 nationalbudget 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 to ensure 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.

 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 budget without 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 ofwomen, budget of farmers, budget of disables etc are proposed from different sides. Basically, increasing the allocation of budget based on specific field is the purpose 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.

Some Pictures of Discrimination in Centralized Budget

In 2008-09 fiscal years, the total allocation in annual development program was 1950 million taka. Considering the population of 1500 million ,the per head allocation was 1300 taka. But in that fiscal year the allocation was lowest in Thakurgaon , Joypurhat, Dinajpur,Jessore,Meherpur and Mymensingh in annual development program (July-March) and Thakurgaon 290 taka,Joypurhat 300 taka,Dinajpur 340,Jessore 380,Gaibandha 390 taka, Mymensingh 390 taka. Though according to poverty map on that time these districts were the most poverty attacked.

 According to basic demand expenditure, the division wise poverty rate (population below poverty line %) t

  Extreme poor Poor
National 25.1 40.0
Barisal 35.6 52.0
Chittagong 16.1 34.0
Dhaka 19.9 32.0
Khulna 31.6 45.7
Rajshahi and Rongpur 34.5 51.1
Sylhet 20.8 33.8

Source: BBS, Khana income and expenditure survey 2005

The most strange matter is on that nine months just the opposite picture is found comparatively economic solvent areas such as Dhaka 710 taka, Chittagong 850, Feni 1160, Sylhet 1080 taka. It is seen that the allocation was comparatively more on that areas. If we analyze these two charts we can realize the importance of making budget based on districts or areas. Besides, the allocation was not in support of poor people in more allocated areas and also the allocation was high in cities than rural areas.

If we analyze the contribution and position ofbig and moderate mills and factories in reducing poverty we can see that though there was huge opportunity of making agriculture based industries, the investment did not increase in north-east, north-west, south and south-west. That means new industries were not made in mentionable rate rather than many mills and factories were closed due to privatization, corruption and central mismanagement. According to the survey of Industry and Labor wing, Bangladesh Statistics bureau 2000-01,in middle area (Dhaka) there were 11588,in the east (Chittagong and Sylhet) 4235,in the north (Rajshahi and Rongpur division) 6570 and in the south there were 2359 industry among the total 24752 industries in the whole country. On the other side, analyzing the capacity of agriculture based rural economy it is found that eastern area is lack behind (harvest of 22 mound per acre) in agricultural production (2008-09) where it was 39 in middle,39 in northern and 32 mound in southern area. Due to natural calamities and other factors it was less in middle and southern area (31 and 21 mound respectively).So without considering this backgrounds in budget to reduce poverty the discrimination will be more acute. On that point, there should be special and separated investment opportunity for underdeveloped areas in annual agenda.

The Role of Decentralized Budget and Local Government in implementing

ADP quickly The lower velocity of implementing ADP to reduce poverty is one of the major hindrance and a challenge central government. Though the local governments show efficiency in costing their total budget the central government has a strong aversion in allocating added budget for them. In 2009-10 fiscal year, the allocation for local government in proposed budget was: comprised measurement (1): (village+union+upzilla) – 4150 million taka; moderate measurement (2): {measurement (1)+ municipality district} – 7650 million taka. If the situation is changed, undoubtedly the development can be made of the whole whole poverty scenario.

Decentralization and the Election Manifesto of current Government

In the article no. 5.6 of the signature of Din Bodol by Awami League, it is stated that, ‘‘administration has to be established as non political and free from party interest. All the appointments and promotions are to be ensured on the basis of ability, seniority and intellect. Administrative reconstruction, establishment of information right and E-governance are to be started…..”.In the article no.6 the local government is detected as one of the most important program where it is stated, “union, upzilla and zillas have to be made strong by decentralizing power. Zilla Council will be made as the center of implementing programs of education, health, rules and order and every types of development programs. Every Union will be the center of local development and administrative activities. Planned rural region, Upzilla sadar and extended factories will be made as town-sub town.”Besides this two declaration it is mentioned in the article no.2 means in the part political structure, decentralization of power and mass participation of Vision 2021 of Awami League that:”a total has to make giving priority to the local government in political structure. Local government will play the role as controller. For this purpose, local governments will be made as self-dependant and autonomic institution.”

Basic Proposals 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 budget.
  • 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 to the 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 parliamen
  • 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 Considering management and effective man power specially.
  • Reflecting the opinions of privilege holders and beneficiaries.
  • Initialing E-governance system to involve people in budget system.

 Conclusion

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 isimportant to decentralize the development programs and the structure of taxation. It is very much difficult task to ensure 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. Local committee’s 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.