The Jatiya Sangsad today passed the Tk 4,64,573 crore national budget for 2018-19 fiscal setting the GDP growth target at 7.8 per cent in a bid to further alleviate poverty, reduce inequalities and bring basic and qualitative changes in the living standards of the country’s people.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith moved the Appropriations Bill, 2018 seeking a budgetary allocation of Taka 571833,82,92,000 which was passed by voice vote.
Following the proposal mooted in the House by the Finance Ministry for parliamentary approval of appropriation of fund for meeting necessary development and non-development expenditures of the government, the ministers concerned placed justifications for the expenditures by their respective ministries through 59 demands for grant.
Earlier, the House rejected by voice vote a total of 448 cut-motions that stood in the name of opposition and independent members on the 59 demands for grants for different ministries.
A total of nine lawmakers, including MPs from opposition Jatiya Party and independent MPs, submitted the cut-motions.
Following discussion between the treasury and opposition bench, Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury allowed MPs to participate in the discussion on Higher Secondary and Higher Education Division, Health Ministry, Local Government Division, Disaster Management Ministry and Railways Ministry.
Participating in the cut-motion, independent and opposition MPs lambasted Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid for his failure to develop the quality of education.
JP MP Fakhrul Imam claimed that GPA-5 certificates are being sold in exchange of money. The claim, however, was rejected by the minister.
Opposition MPs also came down heavily on LGRD Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain for his failure to resolve water logging problem in Dhaka city.
Speaker later applied guillotine to quicken the process of passing the demands for grants for different ministries without giving the lunch break.
Opposition and independent MPs were present in the House when the Appropriation Bill, 2018 was passed in the parliament and they did not raise any voice during passage of the bill.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith on June 7 unveiled a Tk 4,64,573 crore budget for FY2018-19 which will come into effect from June 1.
Earlier yesterday, the House passed the Finance Bill-2018, with some changes in VAT and tariff rates, aiming to boost the ICT sector and promote local industries.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith, who placed his 10th consecutive budget for the AL-led government, well projected the economic developments achieved over the past one decade with the present AL-led alliance in power.
The budget for the next fiscal showed that government's revenue earnings would largely depend on tax (Tk 2,96,201 crore) generated by National Board of Revenue (NBR), followed by other sources like non-tax revenues (Tk 33,352 crore) and non-NBR tax (Tk 9,727 crore). Still, there will be an income-expenditure mismatch of Tk 1,25,293 crore.
As per the finance minister's budget speech, an amount of Tk.54,067 crore (2.1 per cent of GDP) will be financed from external sources while an amount of Tk.71,226 crore (2.8 per cent of GDP) will come from domestic sources.
Of the domestic sources, Tk 42,029 crore (1.7per cent of GDP) will be borrowed from the banking system while Tk.29,197 crore (1.2 per cent of GDP) from National Savings Schemes and other non-bank sources.
Muhith gave a relief to certain company tax by reducing it down to 37.5 per cent from existing 40 per cent but belying public expectation he preferred keeping the tax-exemption ceiling intact at Tk. 2.5 lakh.
In his sector-wise budget allocation plan, Muhith kept aside the biggest chunk of 14.6 per cent for education and technology, followed by 12 per cent for transport and communication, 11.1 per cent for interest payment, 7.1 per cent for subsidies and incentives, 7 per cent for local government and rural development, 6.3 per cent for miscellaneous expenditure, 5.6 per cent each for three sectors -- defence, public order and security and pension, 5.4 per cent for energy and power, 5.1 per cent for social security and welfare, 5 per cent for health, 3.7 per cent for agriculture and 3.1 per cent for public administration.
In the Tk 1,79,669 crore development budget, the finance minister attached most importance to transport and communication by proposing to allocate 26.6 per cent of development budget followed by 16.3 per cent for education and technology, 15.7 per cent for local government and rural development and 13.8 per cent for energy and power.