State-owned enterprises have deposited Tk 16,746 crore to the national exchequer since laws were passed in the beginning of the year to make it mandatory for them to hand over the idle and surplus funds to the government.
The parliament passed the Deposit of Surplus Funds of Autonomous, Semi-Autonomous, State-Owned, and Public Non-Financial Corporations into the Government Treasury Act 2020 in January.
Since then, 13 SoEs have deposited funds to the national treasury, according to the finance ministry. Nine SoEs deposited a total Tk 16,046 crore in the last fiscal year.
Of them, Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation deposited Tk 5,000 crore against its bank deposits of Tk 29,162 crore as of January.
Petrobangla paid Tk 5,871 crore against Tk 18,763 crore parked with banks, Bangladesh Power Development Board Tk 2,000 crore against Tk 16,744 crore and Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board Tk 500 crore against Tk 2,180 crore.
Bangladesh Bridges Authority had a deposit of Tk 1,100 crore with banks as of January and it handed over Tk 400 crore to the government.
Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh handed over Tk 600 crore each, out of their bank deposits of Tk 2,670 crore and Tk 2,855 crore respectively.
Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) had a deposit of Tk 4,100 crore with banks in January and it handed over Tk 1,050 crore to the government.
In Bangladesh, there are 68 state-owned autonomous organisations, which hold Tk 212,100 crore in combined deposits in banks. The corporations have kept the money as deposit or investment.
According to the new law, the surplus funds have to be deposited to the state coffer after keeping aside the operational cost, additional 25 per cent of the operational cost as emergency funds, money for general provident fund and pension.
The respective organisation would estimate its operational cost. The agencies will have to deposit the funds within three months after a fiscal year comes to an end.
If an organisation does not provide correct information about the funds, legal actions will be taken against it, according to the law.
Four more SoEs started depositing funds to the national coffer from the new fiscal year.
Of them, the Mongla Port Authority deposited Tk 100 crore as of August and the Chattogram Port Authority (CPA) Tk 500 crore. The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) deposited Tk 100 crore as of September.
The Mongla Port Authority, the CPA and the EPB would have to deposit another Tk 100 crore, Tk 2,500 crore and Tk 200 crore respectively in FY21.
The National University is due to deposit Tk 1,000 crore in the current fiscal year.
The availability of funds from the SoEs would provide some breathing space to the government at a time when it is facing fund shortage because of the squeezing revenue collection caused by the coronavirus pandemic and rising expenditure to protect the economy and save lives.
Overall, revenue collection dipped 20.5 per cent to Tk 200,248 crore last fiscal year, largely due to the two-and-half-month-long countrywide general shutdown put in place to stop the spread of the virus.
This is first-ever negative growth in Bangladesh's history.
The government has given the National Board of Revenue the target to generate Tk 330,000 crore this fiscal year.
The government has unveiled several stimulus packages amounting to a total of Tk 103,117 crore to pull the economy out of the pandemic-induced wreckage.
The government hopes to receive Tk 20,000 crore from SoEs in the current fiscal year, said an official of the finance ministry.