Over 50 percent of the budget will be implemented at district level to strengthen the local government and equal distribution of resource, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday.
“The districts will be at the centre of future development, as funds will gradually be transferred to the district budget,” Muhith said at a budget meeting with the chairmen of several parliamentary standing committees at the National Economic Council.
The chairmen of the committees made a series of proposals, including appointment of one inspector in every upazila to expand tax net, block allocation for lawmakers, tough policy for use of industrial plots.
Muhith said he would advise the government to ban establishing new industrial units in Dhaka city.
The government should set a timeframe for the entrepreneurs who have taken government lands on lease, he said. The leases should be cancelled if the entrepreneurs do not use the lands by the deadline, he said.
It is often heard that money has been laundered abroad, he said. “How do you catch launderers? Anybody can send us suggestions. The government will act accordingly.”
Suranjit Sengupta, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on the law ministry, said a huge amount of money is being laundered abroad.
He said a Begum Nagar has been set up in Canada with laundered money; second homes have been built in Malaysia; and expensive apartments are being bought in Dubai.
Sengupta urged the government to take stern action against those who have siphoned off money.
The National Board of Revenue has identified 1.62 lakh new houses, which would be brought under the tax net, NBR Chairman Ghulam Hussain said on expansion of the tax net.
Besides, they have detected 265 luxury cars which have been imported into the country without paying tax. Hussain said they have already realised Tk 1 crore tax from each of 26 such cars.
A huge amount of land from the river banks can be reclaimed for investment by dredging the rivers, said Faruk Khan, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on the civil aviation and tourism ministry.
Easybikes and battery-run rickshaws are wasting a huge amount of electricity at a time when the country is facing a power crunch, and the government should keep an eye on this, said Monnujan Sufian, chairperson of the parliamentary standing committee on the labour and employment ministry.
RAM Obaidul Muktadir Chowdhury, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on the ministry of Chittagong hill tracts affairs, demanded a block allocation to every lawmaker to carry out development activities in their constituencies. He mentioned that such allocation is given in India.
Chowdhury said the highest budgetary allocation goes to the power sector yet there is load-shedding. He suggested that monitoring should be done in this regard.