Several senior Awami League lawmakers in parliament today came down heavily on Finance Minister AMA Muhith for his rigid stance against the withdrawal of the excise duty on bank deposits in the proposed budget for fiscal 2017-18.
Participating in the discussion on the proposed budget, they also thrashed Muhith for imposing of 15 percent uniform VAT.
The finance minister also came under verbal attack in the parliament for his failure to curb corruption, mismanagement and looting in the banking sector.
Claiming that the 15 percent VAT and excise duty on bank deposits have created panic among the countrymen, the ruling party lawmakers urged Muhith to scrap the excise duty and reduce the VAT rate.
In presence of Muhith in the parliament, the lawmakers suggested the finance minister recover the looted money without increasing rate of VAT in the proposed national budget.
They also suggested Muhith speak less and with relevance, claiming that his “irrelevant talking” has plunged the government into an embarrassing situation.
“Honourable Speaker, take measures through amending Article 70 so that MPs can vote against the budget. Then you will see that the finance minister would not be able to uphold his stubbornness. He [finance minister] will consider our suggestion,” AL MP Rafiqul Islam said.
Saying that eight to ten thousand crores of taka have been looted from banks, Rafiqul Islam asked the finance minister to recover the looted money instead of increasing the VAT rate.
“If the finance minister acts desperately, people will go against us,” he said in the parliament.
Participating in the discussion, AL MP Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim said Awami League do politics for the betterment of people.
“But he [finance minister] proposed excise duty on bank accounts, which created confusion among countrymen,” he said.
“Scrap the proposal of increasing excise duty, unless people will take a negative idea about us,” Selim said.
Selim said that finance minister often makes comments that embarrass Awami League.
“Talk less as your (Muhith) comments embarrassed us many times. I do understand, you have become old and lose sense while talking sometimes,” he added.
Pointing to finance minister, Selim said, “Your job is to place budget and 350 MPs of the parliament will decide which proposal will be taken or not considering people’s benefit. You [finance minister] will not decide that. Stop your stubbornness and speak less.”