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Social safety nets should be widened and the government should ensure that it reaches the right people, says an expert

Social safety nets should be widened and the government should ensure that it reaches the right people, says an expert
The government should focus on restoring macroeconomic stability and providing rations to people who are financially insolvent and in the lower-income tier in the upcoming national budget for fiscal year 2022-23, recommended economists yesterday. 
Worldwide inflationary pressure affected price levels in Bangladesh in recent months and many people are passing tough times for this and require support, they said.
The economists were addressing a pre-budget discussion “Macroeconomic Uncertainties and Budget Priorities for Bangladesh” jointly organised by Policy Research Institute (PRI) and Ekattor Television at Amari Dhaka.
Inflationary pressure rose in the country due to the increase in prices in global markets soon after economic sanctions were imposed on Russia, said Binayak Sen, director general of the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies.
The situation will hopefully not continue to prevail for long because European countries may not continue to accept high prices and interruption to gas supplies in the upcoming winter, he said.
“Meanwhile, the poor and low-income people need rations of essentials goods,” said Sen. “I hope the government has the fiscal space to introduce rations for at least during the high inflationary period.”
Inflation shot up to 6.29 per cent in April, the highest in 18 months, according to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS). In March, overall inflation stood at 6.22 per cent.
On whether this inflation data is reliable, Sen said product prices were readily available and so the BBS should work on qualitative improvements so that no question arises. The BBS could work on calculating issue-specific inflation instead of average inflation, he added.
AB Mirza Azizul Islam, a former caretaker government adviser, said inflation rose in Bangladesh due to global market price hikes, so contractionary monetary policy or fiscal measures would not be the appropriate method for controlling it.
Zahid Hussain, a former lead economist at the World Bank’s Dhaka office, lauded the central bank for allowing banks to determine dollar prices despite the associated risks.
Ahsan H Mansur, executive director of the PRI, recommended launching a realistic and balanced budget so that macroeconomic stability could be restored even if the growth of gross domestic product decreased.
Prof Mustafizur Rahman, distinguished fellow at the CPD, and Selim Raihan, executive director at Sanem, also spoke. 
চট্টগ্রামের সীতাকুণ্ডে বেসরকারি কনটেইনার ডিপোতে অগ্নিকাণ্ডের ঘটনায় এখন পর্যন্ত ৪৯ জনের মৃত্যু হয়েছে।

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