Policy Recommendations for the Members of Parliament: National Budget Analysis for the Ultra Poor
Sustainable poverty reduction requires employment generating economic growth with an emphasis on the development of human capital to empower the poor to participate in the growth process. Mobilising resources for poverty reduction programmes may not bring expected results unless policymaking and implementation processes ensure empowerment of the poor through a participatory approach. Bringing the poorest sections of society into mainstream economic activities is challenging due to a number of factors which marginalize them. These include lack of skills, lack of community involvement and networks, disabilities, minority status, homeless status, and other such marginalizing factors. Generally, these people are confined to informal, insecure, low-wage occupations. Policymakers need to address the needs of the poorest by recognising the factors that have led to their extreme marginalisation and chronic poverty. As such, the poorest section of the people need a different set of approaches and fiscal provisions, separate from what is set aside for the poor in general. A disaggregated analysis of poverty is also required to better understand the complexities of the problem. Government policies may take more proactive and pragmatic steps to design a pro-poorest approach in the fiscal policy. Members of Parliament (MPs) are the representatives of the people and are involved in policymaking and finalising the national budget. Thus the MPs can contribute to a great extent in ensuring that the budget addresses more effectively the needs of ultra poor citizens of Bangladesh.