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B’desh Parliament passes 2020-21 budget with 10K cr takas to fight Covid

Dhaka, June 30 (IANS) The Bangladesh Parliament on Tuesday passed the 568,000 crore Bangladeshi taka (BDT) budget for fiscal year 2020-21, with the slogan ‘Economic Transition and Pathway to Progress’.

To fulfil emergency requirements, a lump sum of BDT 10,000 crore has been allotted to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

The government has allocated 95,574 crore takas for the social safety net programmes, which is 16.83 per cent of the total budget and 3.01 percent of GDP in FY 2020-21. In last year’s revised budget, the allocation was 81,865 crore takas.

Out of the total deficit, 80,017 crore takas will be financed from external sources, and 1,09,983 crore takas from domestic sources of which 84,983 crore takas will come from the banking system and 25,000 crore takas from savings certificates and other non-bank sources.

A sum of 36,610 crore takas has been allotted for public-private partnership, financial assistance to different industries, subsidies and equity investments in nationalised corporations, banks, and financial institutions, which is 6.45 per cent of the total allocation.

Finance Minister A.H.M. Mustafa Kamal moved the Appropriations Bill, 2020 seeking a budgetary allocation of 7,59,642.44 crore takas which was passed by voice vote on the last day of FY 2019-20.

Following the proposal mooted in the house by the Finance Ministry for 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, the Parliament rejected, by voice vote, a total of only 421 cut motions that stood in the name of opposition members on the demands for grants for different ministries.

A total of nine lawmakers of the opposition Jatiya Party (JP) and the BNP submitted their cut motions on the budget.

They were, however, 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 Appropriation Bill was passed in the Parliament and they did not raise any voice against its passage.

The Finance Minister on June 11 placed a 568,000 crore taka budget to attain an ambitious 8.2 per cent GDP, which has been revised to 5.2 per cent in line with maintaining a 5.4 per cent inflation for the next fiscal, overcoming all the challenges and impact of the Covid-19 global pandemic.

The total allocation for operating and other expenditures is estimated at 3,62,855 crore takas, while the allocation for the annual development programme (ADP) is 2,05,145 crore takas.

The total budget size in the current fiscal year was earlier estimated at 5,23,190 crore takas. In the revised budget, the expenditure was reduced by 21,613 crore takas, to 5,01,577 crore takas.

Keeping in mind the realities and planned reforms in revenue management, the government set the target of total revenue income in 2020-21 at 3,78,000 crore takas.

Out of this, 3,30,000 crore takas will be collected through the NBR. Tax revenue from non-NBR sources has been estimated at 15,000 crore takas, while the non-tax revenue at 33,000 crore takas.

The overall budget deficit has been estimated at 190,000 crore takas, which is 6 per cent of GDP, up from 5 per cent in the last fiscal year.

For the social infrastructure sector, the allocation is 1,55,536 crore takas, which is 27.38 per cent of total allocation, and of this, allocation for human resource sector (education, health and other related sectors) will be 1,40,222 crore takas.

The allocation proposed for the physical infrastructure sector will be 1,67,011 crore takas or 29.40 per cent, in which 69,553 crore takas will go to overall agricultural and rural development.

A sum of 61,435 crore takas is for communications, and 26,758 crore takas for power and energy.

A total of 1,40,265 crore takas has been proposed for general services, which is 24.69 per cent of the total allocation.

As per the ministry and division-wise allocation, the Local Government Division received an allocation of 36,103 crore takas, followed by 22,883 crore takas to the Health Services Division, 6,362 crore takas for the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, 29,442 crore takas to the Road Transport and Highways Division, 24,853 crore takas to the Power Division, 15,442 crore takas to the Ministry of Agriculture, 33,118 crore takas to Secondary and Higher Education Division, 24,937 crore takas to the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, and 34,842 crore takas to the Defence Ministry.

Earlier on Monday, Parliament passed the Finance Bill 2020 with some changes.

–IANS

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