New budget to increase inequality
Terming the proposed national budget "highly ambitious", the BNP yesterday said the people of the country would not accept the budget as it would increase inequality.
The middle and lower middle-class people would suffer the most if the budget is implemented as a huge burden of VAT has been imposed on them, the party said.
"The proposed budget is highly ambitious. It will put the common people under pressure. The rich will become richer and the poor poorer if implemented," said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
The BNP leader was giving his party's formal reaction to the proposed budget at the party chairperson's Gulshan office.
According to the party, the proposed budget will not fulfil people's hopes and aspirations as it has been formulated "against their interests".
Fakhrul, also a former professor of economics, claimed that the government did not formulate the budget to address the main problems of the common people.
"In a nutshell, the budget will not fulfil people's expectations and that is why people will not accept the budget like they did not accept the last parliamentary election."
In the proposed budget, the allocation has decreased comparatively, he said, alleging that the government trapped the country in a loan cycle.
Fakhrul said the finance minister has indulged in a race of giving surprises by increasing the size of the budget. "But people have no enthusiasm over the size of the budget as the allocations in every budget get reduced at the end of every fiscal year."
He said allocations for important sectors have been decreased compared to other sectors as the government has "resorted to anarchy" by giving up the policies of a welfare state.
The BNP leader said despite having a serious limitation in revenue collection in the outgoing fiscal, the government set a big revenue target for National Board of Revenue in the next fiscal. "Under the circumstances, the budget deficit will only increase further."
Fakhrul questioned the government's performance in expanding the allocation under the annual development programme, "unusual rise" in the expenditures in mega projects, "uneven" GDP growth target and the mismanagement of macro economy.
As the proposed budget has Tk 145,380 crore deficit, a big portion of the budget would be spent in capital and interest payments, he said.
"The government's debt is increasing due to creating excessive posts in public service and improving salary structures and facilities through giving wholesale promotions. In the proposed budget, 20.5 percent of the total revenue has been allocated for providing salaries of the government employees. It cannot be justified in any way."
The veteran leader said the government did not have any right to place a budget in parliament as it was "not elected by people's vote".
BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed said there was nothing for the common people in the proposed budget. "Farmers are protesting over fair prices of their paddy, but there is nothing for them in the budget to ensure fair prices."
He said the government is taking up big projects because the larger the project, the bigger amount of corruption is there. "A big chunk of the development budget will be spent on paying the commission of the agents. There is a doubt whether the common people will get any benefit from the development budget."
Another standing committee member Abdul Moyeen Khan said the people of the country had the burden of tax through the proposed budget.
"The proposed budget is the documentation of the failure of the current year and next year."