Budget surreal: CPD
The proposed budget is a surreal venture with a big gap between income and expenditure, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), a private think-tank, said on Friday.
The think-tank also said allowing black money in flat, plot and land would act as counter-productive for the growth of the industries as the already high prices of land might jump further.
CPD, however, found some positives, such as duty reduction for capital goods and raw materials and tax benefit to small and medium enterprises in the proposed budget, to help local industries grow.
“The size of the budget is big and it sounds good for the time being. That’s why we say there is water in the budget and from that perspective it (budget) is surreal,” Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, distinguished fellow of CPD, told a media briefing at Brac Centre Inn in the city.
It is tradition that CPD gives its formal reaction on Bangladesh’s annual budget on the following day of the budget announcement.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Thursday announced a Tk 222,491 crore budget for fiscal 2013-14, including Tk 55,032 crore deficit financing. Of the deficit, Tk 21,068 crore will be financed from foreign sources and Tk 33,964 crore from domestic sources, mostly by bank borrowing.
Revenue target has been set at Tk 167,459 crore. Annual development programmes get Tk 65,870 crore allocation.
CPD observes revenue target has been set ambitious on the basis of the outgoing fiscal year’s target, not on the collection. Eleven months’ collection shows that it falls short of target. The think-tank said it is doubtful about achieving 22 percent higher revenue collection next year.
The think-tank said the proposed budget aims to boost investment and give benefits to local industries by adjusting duty. “It should be helpful in stimulating private investment.”
Executive Director of CPD Prof Mustafizur Rahman hailed the duty and tax measures in the proposed budget.
Replying to a query on withdrawal of concession on newsprint import, Fahmida Khatun, research director of the think-tank, said may be, the decision has been taken to please vested group.