A pre-budget consultation held with leading economists where minister or economists, there were no one to focus on employment generation while millions of unemployed youths are fighting for work. The economists suggested for introduction of a minimum level of income tax on holders of Taxpayers Identification Numbers (TIN), enforcement of an appropriate policy on subsidies, bringing about reforms in the provisions for wealth tax and putting in effective efforts to improve urban transportation and housing sector through budgetary intervention. But everyday millions of people are coming to urban areas particularly in the Dhaka city for searching employment which should be the major concern of discussion of pre-budget discussion, unfortunately minister and economists have forgotten it.
Drivers of the economy in our country are farmer, industrial and migrant workers. Another driver could be the unemployed youths if the state gives focus on them through creating enable environment to develop youth entrepreneurship. The government could declare interest free bank loan and tax exemption to the youth small entrepreneurs to attract the unemployed youth in the entrepreneurship. It would create more employment and unemployed youth could be driver of the economy. Unfortunately, we always missed it!
Our policy leaders and policy influencers always keep focus only on the industrial development for employment generation. But reality is industry never able to consume our huge number of unemployed people. So, we need to give focus on the agricultural sector and self-employment as well as entrepreneurship development sector.
The policy suggested by economists to minimum level of income tax on holders of taxpayers identification number (TIN) may hamper self-employment and small enterprise development. We need minimum tax exemption for capital of 5 lac instead of 1, 70,000 for expanding the micro level entrepreneurial initiative. Tax policy should be easier for the poor and heavier for rich instead of existing policy which acts against the poor for giving benefit to the rich.
There have a lot of areas to re-think for increasing self-employment and small enterprise development which should be major concern of policy makers, finance minister and honorable prime minister. Unfortunately, these are missing in discussion of economists. Therefore, the youth, the real sufferers of the existing policy framework of the economy have to raise these issues boldly. There is no time to be kept in silence!