Members of the civil society have demanded inclusion of the income taxpayers directly in the proposed universal pension scheme that is set to be announced in the upcoming national budget.
They also recommended the government take the opinion of the masses to design an effective and sustainable pension scheme.
"The Awami League political manifesto is to make the country a welfare state. All initiatives of our government are focused on ensuring justice and the welfare of people. Poor people must be supported through the pension scheme," Qazi Kholiquzzaman said at a seminar organised by the COAST Foundation at the National Press Club on Wednesday.
In the keynote presentation, Ahsanul Karim of Coast foundation said the prime minister has announced the universal pension scheme which is a welcome move and a hope for our senior citizens.
"But the approach is a bit commercial," he observed.
He suggested including the income taxpayers directly as they are key resource mobilisers to develop the country and has the right to get the benefits. Furthermore, the government will have to allocate a portion of the amount from tax resource mobilisation through the national budget every year.
He further suggested to provide a guarantee for the pension fund and to introduce inclusive participation and mass opinion to design the pension scheme for its effectiveness and long-term sustainability.
Md Abdul Majid, former chairman of NBR said, the government's introduction of UPS is good but needs deep analysis and proper structuring to make it effective.
He also said the existing tax system needs revision to encourage people to pay more tax.
Barrister Shamim Haider MP said the proposed UPS is like an investing instrument scheme that needs to be shaped into an institutional frame to serve people of all economic status.
"The revision must be done before it is submitted to the cabinet meeting," he added.
Dr Tofail, Chairman of COAST Foundation, said government employees get their benefits more quickly as they control the policy structure.
"The UPS is now one of the options through which people who pay taxes can benefit," he said and recommended the government to bring the "Zakat Fund" under a regulatory frame in mobilising substantial resources for UPS through paying tax incentives.