Govt plans to create fund to combat natural disasters | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 17, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 17, 2008

Govt plans to create fund to combat natural disasters

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The government plans to create a disaster management fund in the next budget to fight the fallout of natural hazards like floods and cyclones which severely affected the country's economy last year.
The government revealed this plan following a proposal of Bangladesh Economic Association (BEA) to create a Tk 1,000 crore fund in the next budget to help boost the country's economy.
"The government is already thinking about such a fund and has started working on it", Finance Adviser AB Mirza Azizul Islam told the BEA executive committee at a pre-budget view-exchange meeting at National Economic Council (NEC) conference room.
Explaining the issue, Finance Secretary Mohammad Tareque said utilisation of the fund will start, though in small size, in the next budget.
UNB adds: The finance adviser said the national budget for next fiscal year would target 6.5 percent GDP growth.
"The revenue expenditure and the ADP (Annual Development Programme) would be fixed proportionate to the GDP target", he said.
BEA President Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, who led the BEA delegation, expressed concern over the disproportionate distribution of the economic growth, widening disparity between the rich and the poor and deepening poverty.
Questioning the impact and quality of expenditures and development objectives, the BEA delegation stressed the need for developing the SME sector, creating employment opportunities, widening safety-net programmes and pursuing home-grown development programmes.
Upping his previous projection, the finance adviser said he expects the GDP growth to be between 6.1 and 6.2 percent during the current fiscal year as major economic indicators picked up recently and the country expects a bumper Boro harvest.
"It's not bad in the context of regional and global growth projections, he said adding, "It's not a drastic fall from last year's achievement (6.5 percent)".
Referring to Bangladesh's GDP estimates by international institutions, he said their estimates are based on previous indicators which picked up recently.
The adviser said ADP size would be determined considering revenue collection and likelihood of foreign aid, as he has no intention to raise the tax rates in the coming budget. "In few cases, the tax rate will be reduced despite the lowest tax-GDP ratio."
Aziz expected that revenue collection this fiscal year would exceed the target for the first time as the July-February collections grew by 23 percent from the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year.

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