The Jatiya Sangsad (JS) today passed the Taka 5,68,000 crore national budget for the next fiscal year (2020-21) with a target of attaining 8.2 percent GDP growth through continuing the momentum of the economy with all required activities after tackling the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal moved the Appropriations Bill, 2020 to the House today seeking a budgetary allocation of Taka 7,59,642.44 crore which was passed by voice vote. The finance minister earlier dubbed the proposed budget as “Economic Transition and Pathway to Progress”.
Following the proposal mooted in the House by the finance ministry for the 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 grants.
Earlier, parliament rejected by voice vote a total of 421 cut-motions that stood in the name of opposition members on 59 demands for grants for different ministries. A total of nine MPs from Jatiya Party and BNP submitted their cut-motions on the budget. They are– Kazi Firoze Rashid, Mujibul Huq, Fakhrul Imam, Pir Fazlur Rahman, Shamim Haider Patwari, Liaquat Hossain Khoka, Begum Rawshan Ara Mannan, Harun Ur Rashid and Rumeen Farhana. They, however, were allowed to participate in the discussion on Law Ministry and Health Ministry.
Later, Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury 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 at the House when the Appropriations Bill was passed in parliament and they did not raise any voice against passing of the bill.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on June 11 placed a Taka 568,000 crore budget which also aims to contain inflation within 5.4 percent for the next fiscal overcoming all challenges and impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic. The total allocation for operating and other expenditures is estimated at Taka 3,62,855 crore, while the allocation for the annual development program (ADP) is Taka 2,05,145 crore. The total budget size in the current fiscal year was earlier estimated at Taka 5,23,190 crore. In the revised budget, the expenditure was reduced by Taka 21,613 crore, and thus revised at Taka 5,01,577 crore.
Keeping in mind the realities at hand and planned reforms in revenue management, the government set the target of total revenue collection of Taka 3,78,000 crore in the next fiscal year (2020-21). Out of this amount, Taka 3,30,000 crore will be collected through the NBR. Tax revenue from the non-NBR sources has been estimated at Taka 15,000 crore, while the non-tax revenue is estimated to be Taka 33,000 crore. The overall budget deficit has been estimated at Taka 190,000 crore, which is 6 percent of GDP up from 5.0 percent in the last fiscal year. Out of the total deficit, Taka 80,017 crore will be financed by external sources, while Taka 1,09,983 crore from domestic sources of which Taka 84,983 crore will come from the banking system and Taka 25,000 crore from savings certificates and other non-bank sources.
The allocation or the social infrastructure sector in the proposed budget is Taka 1,55,536 crore, which is 27.38 percent of total allocation, of which, the allocation for human resource sector (education, health and other related sectors) is Taka 1,40,222 crore. Besides, Allocation proposed for the physical infrastructure sector is Taka 1,67,011 crore or 29.40 percent, in which Taka 69,553 crore will go to overall agricultural and rural development, Taka 61,435 crore to overall communications, and Taka 26,758 crore to power and energy. A total of Taka 1,40,265 crore has been proposed for general services, which is 24.69 percent of the total allocation.
An amount of Taka 36,610 crore has been allotted for public-private partnerships (PPP), financial assistance to different industries, subsidies and equity investments in nationalized corporations, banks, and financial institutions, which is 6.45 percent of the total allocation. As per the ministry and division wise allocation, the Local Government Division received a proposed budgetary allocation of Taka 36,103 crore, followed by Taka 22,883 crore to the Health Services Division alongside Taka 6,362 crore to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Taka 29,442 crore to the Road Transport and Highways Division, Taka 24,853 crore to the Power Division, Taka 15,442 crore to the Ministry of Agriculture, Taka 33,118 crore to Secondary and Higher Education Division, Taka 24,937 crore to the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, Taka 34,842 crore to the Ministry of Defense.
In order to fulfill the emergency requirements, Taka 10,000 crore lump sum amount has been allocated to fight against COVID-19. The government has allocated Taka 95,574 crore for the social safety net programmes, which is 16.83 percent of total budget and 3.01 percent of GDP in FY 2020-21. In the last year’s revised budget, the allocation was Taka 81,865 crore. Earlier on Monday, the Jatiya Sangsad passed the Finance Bill 2020 with some minor changes.