Rights groups demand to increase allocation in agri sector

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Dhaka, June 15: The government has proposed inadequate and inefficient allocation in agricultural sector in the national budget for 2016-17 fiscal, a group of rights based civil society organizations claimed on Wednesday.

They said that the budget don’t have specific and effective measures to face the national and global challenges of Bangladeshi farmers.

They also demanded of the government a ‘Just Price Commission’ to ensure just price of the agricultural products.

The CSOs representatives were speaking in a seminar held on Wednesday at Jatiya Press Club in the city.

The seminar titled “Budget 2016-17: Allocation for the agriculture and future food security’ was jointly organized by Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (CSRL), Equity and Justice Working Group Bangladesh (EquityBD), Medium Term Cooperation Program (MTCP) and South Asian Association for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE). The seminar chaired by Sharmind Nilormi Dalia of CSRL was moderated by Mustafa Kamal Akand of COAST Trust while Md. Mujibul Haque Munir of EquityBd presented the keynote paper.

Among others of Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee for the Ministry of Forest and Environment Tipu Sultan MP, Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee for the Ministry of Labour Welfare Israfil Alom MP, Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee for the Ministry of  Social Welfare Monoronjon Shil Gopal MP,  Dr. Jahagngir Alam of CSRL, Subal Sorkar of Bangladesh Bhumihin Somity, Zayed Iqbal Khan of Bangladesh Krishak Federation also spoke on the occasion.

In his key note presentation, Md Mujibul Haque Munir said, allocation for the ministry of agriculture in the budget of 2015-16 was the 4.21% of the total budget, while the proposed budget of 2016-17 allocates 4.01%, which is 0.19% lower.

Allocation for the ministry of Agriculture in the Annual Development Plan has also been reduced. It was 2% in 2015-16 and the new budget proposes only 1.7% of the total ADP.