Dhaka – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has taken responsibility of reading out the budget proposals in parliament as Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal fell sick while presenting the national budget for 2019-2020 financial year.
“I’ve been suffering from almost similar ailment… need to use eye refreshing drops in every 15 minutes; I will continue with the reading despite the fact that I might face difficulties,” Hasina told the House soon after the finance minister came back following a five-minute break he had sought .
The minister, who came straight from hospital to parliament, began reading out the budget speech after Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chudhury permitted him to do so as per the rules of procedure at about 3 pm. But he was not much comfortable in carrying out the budget presentation, and at one stage Kamal sought a break for five minutes.
As the Finance Minister came back to his seat, the Prime Minister rose to her feet and sought the chair’s permission to carry out the rest of the budget contents to read out on the Finance Minister’s behalf.
Hasina carried out the tasks for a long way and handed the microphone to the Finance Minister to pilot the Finance Bill 2019.
As per norms, the finance minister places the national budget in parliament and explains the financial measures. He reads out the budget speech which contains the proposed financial measures.
Kamal, who underwent treatment at a city hospital for the last couple of days, came prepared to place the budget as the parliament sitting resumed in the afternoon.
But on the halfway, he was feeling unwell and need a break , and the speaker, allowed. Fellow ministers were trying to help the Finance Minister out.
But the task was taken over by the Prime Minister. She laughed when she was going through the text on thanking the “Prime Minister” for various reforms that her government had taken in the past decades.
The Speaker, who was presiding over the sitting, ruled that she (Prime Minister) must read the sections where she was thanked.
The proposed budget has aimed at a growth rate of 8.2 per cent.
This was the country’s 48th budget and the 20th of the Awami League (AL) government in five staggered terms while Tajuddin Ahmed presented the first budget as the finance minister of the post-independence Bangabandhu government in 1972.