Dhaka – Bangladesh is all set to place its largest ever national budget proposal involving more than 5 trillion taka (more than 61.8 billion dollars) for the next financial year beginning on July 1.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal is scheduled to place the national financial proposals before parliament in the afternoon. Kamal, who will deliver his maiden budget speech in parliament as finance minister, is expected to propose a number of reforms to revitalize the tax system.
The minister will begin his budget speech as soon as the parliament sitting begins at 3:00 pm.
This will be the country’s 48th national budget and 20th by the Awami League government in its staggered five terms since Bangladesh’s liberation in 1971.
State-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha news agency reported that the budget is assumed to propose a number of welfare oriented initiatives and reforms in the banking sector, capital market, savings certificates and social safety net programmes and employment generation.
The budget for the current financial year placed by Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, Kamal’s predecessor, involved 4,645.73 billion taka worth about 55 billion dollar.
The budget would propose developing a “Start up Fund” for the first time in the country for young entrepreneurs who could take soft-term loans to launch and run their businesses, officials said.
They said the new budget would pave the way for enlisting new educational institutions under the government’s Monthly Payment Order (MPO) system.
A crop insurance scheme on pilot basis may also be proposed. An insurance plan for stimulating expatriate Bangladeshi workers and minimizing their income related concerns would also be addressed in the national budget.
A widened safety net coverage allocating 53.21 billion taka to include some 1.3 million beneficiaries and increasing their number to 8.9 million from 7.6 million will also be proposed, according to the finance ministry officials.
The new budget will set an ambitious 8.20 percent GDP growth in the next financial year. It is expected to keep the inflation rate at 5.5 percent assuming that the fuel and oil price in the global market would remain unchanged.
A proposal for appointment of some 10,000 fresh university graduates on makeshift basis to identify the new taxpayers visiting their doorsteps is also be in the budget.
The finance minister himself in a couple of occasions recently, however, assured that none would be harassed or burdened in imposing and realizing the taxes.
The budget would make allocations as well for 70,000 maternity allowance recipients, 25,000 working lactating mother allowance recipients, 10,000 tea workers alongside 15,000 other allowance recipients.
Finance ministry officials said proposed budget would be 18.1 percent of expected GDP.
The overall revenue collection target in the budget would likely to be 3778.10 billion taka, including the grants, which is 13.1 percent of the GDP.
The budget is likely to entrust NBR with a task to realize Taka 3256.billion as revenue while the non-NBR revenue collection target is likely to be Taka 145 billion.
The officials said the non-tax revenue collection target is likely to be set at Taka 377.10 billion while Taka 41.68 billion is likely to come as foreign grants.
The overall budget deficit is likely to stand at Taka 1412.12 billion, an amount expected to be less than five percent of the GDP. The deficit will be made up through borrowing from both domestic and external sources.
The new budget would focus on celebrating the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.