• Monday, September 22, 2014

Hasina slams NBR for cutting revenue target

She also criticises ministries demanding higher allocation in revised ADP

Rejaul Karim Byron

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has criticised the National Board of Revenue for bringing down the revenue target for the current fiscal year.
She said there was no logic behind downsizing the target so early and the NBR still can meet the previous target by reining in tax evasion.
The Prime Minister also came down on the ministries and divisions who were slow in spending their allocation for development work but were demanding more funds.
The criticism came at a meeting on the revised budget for the current fiscal year on Monday night at her official residence Gono Bhaban.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman and secretaries of different ministries were present at the meeting.
Hasina instructed the NBR to conduct strong drives against the tax-dodgers, said officials who were present at the meeting.
"If necessary, search their homes and business establishments [to find undisclosed money]," an official said, quoting Hasina.
The NBR on Thursday disclosed to the media that the revenue target for the current fiscal year has been slashed by Tk 11,090 crore to Tk 125,000 crore.
The planning ministry told the meeting that the Finance Division has instructed them to bring down the allocation for the revised ADP (annual development programme) to Tk 54,000 crore, from the original allocation of Tk 65,870 crore.
The planning ministry has already prepared a draft of the revised ADP where the government's funds have been cut by 23 percent and foreign aid by 11 percent.

The ministry plans to present the draft revised ADP at a meeting of the National Economic Council on March 18.
At the Gono Bhaban meeting, the planning ministry sought at least Tk 7,000 crore to meet the additional demand for funds from 21 ministries and divisions.
But the Prime Minister did not respond positively to the call, saying additional allocation is not justified for the ministries who failed to spend their existing funds.
Meanwhile, at a meeting of the Executive Committee of National Economic Council yesterday, the planning ministry sought to know how much money the ministries will get in the revised ADP.
Though ministries and divisions demand additional allocation in the revised ADP every year, it is found in the yearend that they have failed to spend the amount.
In the first seven months of the current fiscal year, the ministries and divisions could implement only 33 percent or Tk 21,857 crore of the original ADP.
They will have to spend about Tk 30,000 crore in the remaining five months to exhaust the total allocation, which the Prime Minister said would not be possible.

Published: 12:00 am Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Last modified: 10:58 pm Tuesday, March 11, 2014

TAGS: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Finance Minister AMA Muhith National Board of Revenue National Economic Council NBR

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