Pre-budget consultation with children
The Ministry of Finance organized the pre-budget consultation, first of its kind, with the participation of almost thirty children from low income communities in collaboration with Save the Children on May 18, prior to the National Budget for FY 2017-18.
”Budgeting for children is an investment for the country as children are the future of the nation. Government is always concerned to ensure the better future for children and working towards that. That's why government is keen to invest for ensuring access to education, healthcare and better income for every child in Bangladesh,”- said Hedayetullah Al Mamoon, Senior Secretary, Ministry of Finance while giving his address as the chief guest at the consultation meeting. He also added, “We will hold this kind of consultation with children every year. Although it is for the first time that we are holding consultation with children, we introduced child budget in FY 2014-2015”.
During this face-to-face consultation, children prioritized different issues like education stipend, health and transportation etc. While sharing his experience Arif, from Rayer Bazar slum said, “We need free health facilities in urban slums”. Polash, a child with disability, added, “We need to increase stipends for secondary and higher secondary school, especially for children with disability.” Another participant, namely Roxana suggested increased allocation for local government. “If the local government has enough budget and can spend that for the slum children education, then no one will be dropped out of the education system “- she noted.
Mohammad Muslim Chowdhury, Additional Secretary, M. Habibur Rahman, Joint Secretary of Ministry of Finance and Sharon Hauser, Director of Programme Development & Quality of Save the Children also spoke at the event.