Sunday, June 30th, 2019

JS passes Tk 5,23,190 cr national budget for FY 2019-20

Published 10:12 pm | June 30, 2019

The budget with an allocation of Taka 5,23,190 crore was passed on Sunday, with a growth target of 8.2 per cent. Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal piloted the Appropriations Bill, 2019 seeking a budgetary allocation of Taka 6,424,782,720,000 which was passed by voice vote.

Following the proposal mooted in the House, by the Finance Minister, for parliamentary approval to appropriate funds to meet 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 grants.

Earlier, Parliament, by voice vote, rejected a total of only 483 cut motions that stood in the name of opposition and independent members, on 59 demands for grants for different ministries.

Opposition lawmakers submitted their budget cut-motions.

They were allowed to participate in the discussion on the: Higher Secondary and Higher Education Division, Health Ministry, Local Government Division, Disaster Management Ministry and Railways Ministry.

Later, Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury applied a guillotine to hasten the process of passing the demands for grants for different ministries—without breaking for lunch.

Opposition and independent MPs were present in the House when the Appropriation Bill was passed in Parliament and they did not raise a voice against passing the bill.

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on June 13 unveiled a Taka 5,23,190 crore ambitious budget for the next fiscal 2019-20.

Earlier on Saturday, the House passed the Finance Bill, 2019, without any significant changes as the government justified that the proposed budget did not impose additional tax, but budget did not has suggested how to increase new tax net.

After coming to power in December 30 in 2018, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, who placed his first and 11th consecutive budget for the AL-led government, it has projected the economic developments achieved over the past 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 NBR-generated (National Board of Revenue) tax (Tk3,25,600 crore) followed by other sources like non-tax revenues (Tk 37,710 crore) and non-NBR tax (Tk 14,500 crore). Still, there will be an income-expenditure mismatch of Taka1,45,380 crore.

Considering the interest of poor and marginalized people, the finance minister proposed to provide VAT exemption on the production and supply of bread, hand-made biscuits and hand-made cakes up to value of Taka 150, per kg.

But the proposed budget has imposed VAT o the products such as plastic and aluminum items, soybean oil, palm oil, sunflower oil, mustard oil which have been enjoying the exemption benefit for a long time, according to the budget speech.

The budget has also imposed 5 per cent supplementary duty on ice-cream and budget proposed increase supplementary duty from 5 to 10 per cent of the services provided through mobile phone SIM/RIM card.

To prevent gold smuggling, Mustafa Kamal proposed a reduction of duty of gold under passenger (non-tourist) and baggage (import) rules-2016 and for commercial import, he proposed from Taka 3,000/11.664 gm to Taka 2,000/11.664gm.

In his sector-specific budget allocation plan, Kamal reserved the biggest portion of 13.2 %for education and technology—followed by: 9.8% for public administration, 8.7 per cent for defense, 7.2 % for public order and safety, 6.5 per cent for social security and welfare, 4.3 % for health, and 2.7 % for transport and communication.

The Finance Minister kept aside a sizeable amount to expedite the 10 growth-generating projects, identified as “Mega Projects,” which are the: Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project, Padma Rail Bridge Project, Rooppur Nuclear Power Project, Rampal Coal Based Power Project, Chittagong-Dohajari to Ramu-Cox’s Bazar and Ramu-Gundum Railway Construction Project, Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project, Construction of Payra Sea port (First Phase) Project, Sonadia Deep Sea port, Matarbari Ultra Super Critical Coal Fired Power Project, and Construction of Maheshkhali Floating LNG Terminal Project.


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