Observation on Budget 2014 about Religious Ministry allocation: A research conducted by SHAREE

Bangladesh rests on a set of fundamental socio-cultural, linguistic and religious identities that have been uniquely shaped by the history of the Bengal delta. The socio-economic system around which modern civilization has grown up in this part of the world is derived from a distinctive cultural-religious ideology. As a result, relatively flexible religious ideologies were mobilized around the mode of production and economic life of the people.


The essence of secularism in this part of the world is basically the freedom of individuals to practice the faith he or she likes without being subject to any form of state or communal discrimination in literally. In Bangladesh the government publicly supported freedom of religion–government institutions and the courts protected religious freedom. Hindu, Christian, and Buddhist minorities experienced discrimination and sometimes violence from the Muslim majority as well as from the state. Attempts by the powerful political force to build a unique linguistic or religious identity within Bangladesh have tended to ignore the multiple identities around issues of language, class and profession, and this has occasionally served to provoke confrontation and violence. The above table show that due to such discrimination how the religious minority population, particularly Hindus have been declining even after independence of the country.

SHAREE, a national voluntary organization of Bangladesh, find out the discrimination of allocation of budget for the Ministry of Religious affairs, which may be provided as burning example how the state discriminate against religious minorities. Out of Tk.163.88 crore religious ministry 2014-15 fiscal budgets Tk.4.61 crore (that is only 2.90% of the total budget for religious ministry) has been allocated for all religious minorities. It means that 89.9% population endowed with 97.2% of the total allocation whereas remaining 10.1% population got only 2.80% (Hindus-1.75%, Buddhist-0.98%, Christian-09%). In the previous year almost similar trend may be observed, a trend is given in the graph. If the allocation is distributed on per head basis, it shows that allocation of budget per Muslim citizen is Tk.11.00 whereas it is only Tk.3.00 taka for other minorities which is clear violation of the spirit of our sacred constitution of the country.


Discrimination may also be observed in the budget allocation structure- in 2014-15 fiscal budget Tk.44.03 crore has been allocated for Hajj (Pilgrimage for Muslims) where no such allocation for performing religious pilgrims/visits ever been made for the people of other religious. The similar trends in allocations in other sub-heads can be also noticed for instance allocations for contribution to international Institution were made only for Islamic International Institutions. There were no contributions for others religious organizations. Moreover, budgetary allocations for rehabilitation of newly converted Muslims were made in every previous budget. It is notable that such allocation was interestingly even higher than the total budget allocation for minorities.

The minority people of this country provide all kind of tax, vat and do all duties as a good citizen. But Government has no initiatives or any project for minority welfare in the development budget.