25 June 2011, Dhaka. BRAC & Bangladesh Rice Foundation jointly organised a dialogue titled ‘Agriculture, Food Security and Social Security: An Analysis of Proposed National Budget 2011-12’ on June 25, 2011 at the BRAC Centre Auditorium. Dr. Mahabub Hossain, Executive Director, BRAC presented his analysis on the proposed National Budget 2011-12 while M. Syeduzzaman, Former Finance Minister, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh Chaired the dialogue. The dialogue brought together the policy makers, bureaucrats, economists, academicians, lawmakers, businessmen and prominent civil society members as well as representatives from national and international NGOs who spoke about the proposed budget in relation to agriculture, food security and social security. All the speakers and the guests insisted in the proper implementation and utilisation of the proposed budget. They also shared their concern regarding transparency and accountability in implementing the proposed budget for the fiscal 2011-12. Following are the recommendations that come forward from the dialogue:
- Ensure fair prices to maintain food security for distressed people and distribute khas lands among the poor.
- Ensure government’s contribution to subsidise the agriculture sector considering the involvement of a very large section of the poor in it by cutting down on unnecessary expenditure.
- Adequate allocation for human resource development and research rather than reducing subsidy in Agriculture sector.
- Increase allocation in the social safety net programmes for food security of the ultra poor.
- Create buffer stock of arable lands for food security.
- Formulate a Budget Disciplinary Law to ensure accountability in the implementation of the proposed budget.