1. A memorial article on Professor Hafiz G A Siddiqi was published in The Bengali Daily Newspaper “Banik Barta” on 29th May.
2. An interview article was published in the The Bengali Daily newspaper “Jugantor”. The article discussed with various issues that needed to be dealt with in the upcoming budget in order to accelerate inclusive growth. Those included the need for alleviating infrastructural deficiencies, enhanced allocation for health and education while ensuring quality, enhancing revenue collection not through increased tax rates but through expansion of the tax net, majors to deal with the prevailing problems in the banking sector etc.
3. An interview article on the upcoming budget was published in “Arthojagat”, a fortnightly financial magazine on 02 May, 2018. The article dealt with the need for formulating a realistic budget, enhancing allocation for social safety net while ensuring prevention of leakages, increasing allocation to health and educational sectors and ensuring that the allocations are used effectively to contribute to fulfillment of human resource needs of the economy and creation of investment –friendly business environment.
05 May: Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam was the chief guest at a seminar organized by the Centre for Zakat Management. Dr. Hossain Zillur Rahman, former advisor to the Caretaker Government presented the key note paper. Other participants included senior bank officials, leading business people and some former Secretaries to the Government. The discussions dealt with the potential of Zakat as a supplementary instrument to accelerate poverty reduction.
08 May: Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam chaired a seminar on the impact of tariffs on consumers in Bangladesh. Dr. Mashiur Rahman, Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister was the chief guest. The seminar was organized by Policy Research Institute (PRI). Dr. Zaidi Sattar, President of PRI presented the keynote report. Issues brought up in the paper as well as in the course of discussions focused on unacceptably high levels of import duties, lack of transparency due to imposition of regulatory and supplementary duty on the top of import duty, high degree of variation of the duties across different goods and their consequences for administrative complexity, corruption, disincentives for exports and above all high cost for the consumers.
Faulty tax system forces consumers to pay higher
11 May: Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam was a panelist at a discussion meeting convened by the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce & Industries which was broadcast live by Masranga Television. The Finance Minister was the chief guest. The participants included leading economists and business representatives. The discussions focused on various policy initiatives that should be incorporated in the upcoming budget in order to accelerate investment and growth.
12 May: Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam was a panelist at a discussion meeting convened by the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce & Industries which was broadcast live by Masranga Television. The Finance Minister was the chief guest. The participants included leading economists and business representatives. The topics of discussion were the actions that should be reflected in 2018-19 budget in the areas of Taxation, Infrastructure, Power & Energy, Industry, Trade, Financial sector and Capital Market.
14 May: Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam was the only discussant in a talk show broadcast by Independent TV. The discussion briefly reviewed the present situation in the capital market of Bangladesh and in that context indicated the likely implications of strategic partnership agreement signed by Dhaka Stock Exchange with a consortium of Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges.
15 May: Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam along with Mr. Nurul Islam Khan, former Secretary, Ministry of Education participated in a talk show broadcast by TV channel DBC. The discussions analyzed the implications of the abolition of quota system which is currently practiced for recruitment in government jobs. The consensus was that the present system needs to be reformed with a view to enabling recruitment of larger numbers on the basis of merit, but there was still a need for some quotas for certain disadvantaged groups.
22 May: Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam was a panelist in a discussion on the upcoming budget. The other panelist included the State Minister of Finance, Secretary Ministry of Social Welfare, Dr. Farashuddin (former Governor of Bangladesh Bank) and Mr. Nazim Razzaque, Member of the Parliament. There was a particular focus on a review of the existing government programs for the benefit of the disadvantaged segments of the population, the need for enhancing budget allocations for them and the imperative of more effective coordination between the government and the NGOs for service delivery.
28 May: Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam was a panelist in a seminar organized by an organization named Bangladeshi Study Trust. The Finance Minister was the chief guest. The other panelists included Dr. Mashiur Rahman, Economic Advisor of the Prime Minister, Dr. Shamsul Alam, Member of the Planning Commission and Dr. Khaliquzzaman, Chairman of PKSF. The discussions dealt with various development issues that need to be attended to in the upcoming budget.