The chairman of parliamentary standing committee on defence yesterday urged the finance minister to increase defence budget.
It would be used for purchasing submarines, missiles, MiG fighter planes and other military hardware and equipment, said Subid Ali Bhuiyan, chairman of parliamentary standing committee on defence.
“When the world is going forward in military power we will lag behind if the budgetary allocation for defence is not increased,” he told a pre-budget discussion attended by Finance Minister AMA Muhith at NEC auditorium.
He urged the minister to give an additional Tk 5,000 crore for defence.
The finance minister in his speech said defence budget would be increased and urged the defence ministry to stay within the allocation made for them.
Allocation for the defence sector in the current fiscal year is Tk 25,756 crore. It was Tk 23,212 crore in the last fiscal year's revised allocation.
In yesterday's discussion, 13 chairmen of parliamentary standing committees spoke.
Muhith ruled out several lawmakers' complaint that doctors did not stay at the upazila health complexes.
“Sorry, I cannot accept your complaints. Now a good number of doctors stay in upazilas”, Muhith said.
Motahar Hossain, chairman of the committee on primary and mass education, proposed introducing more healthcare service in rural areas.
In his reply, Muhith said the existing system was good.
Motahar again said that doctors remained absent at upazila health complexes. Several other lawmakers supported him annoying Muhith.
Simin Hossain Rimi, chairman of the standing committee on cultural affairs said the hospital in Gazipur's Kapasia was supposed to have 10 specialist doctors, but there were only two.
She added that there was no anaesthetist at the facility.
Some lawmakers proposed a ban on selling of single sticks of cigarettes or bidi in local stores to curb the consumption of tobacco.
The finance minister said he would consider the proposal.
Muhith said the next fiscal budget would range between Tk 4,60,000 crore to Tk 4,75,000 crore.
Transport and energy sectors will get more allocations, he added.