Dhaka – Bangladesh on Thursday unveiled a proposed 5-trillion taka national budget for 2019-2020 financial year, beginning on July 1, aiming at widening social safety and expansion of tax net.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal rolled out the budget proposal in parliament in the afternoon, but Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina took the responsibility of reading out parts of the budget speech as the finance boss fall sick.
The Finance Minister projected a. 8.2 per cent GDP growth as the country’s size of Gross Domestic Product is estimated at 302.4 billion US dollars.
Kamal set a target of overall revenue collection for the next fiscal to 3,778.10 billion taka, including the grants, which is 13.1 percent of the GDP. He put target of inflation to 5.5 per cent.
The National Board of Revenue was given the task of realizing 3,256.billion taka as revenue while the non-NBR revenue collection target was set to 145 billion taka, according to the budget document.
“We are going to propose such a budget that will see no rise in prices of the essential commodities,” the minister said adding that there is no tax increase in the budget rather the government will try to widen the tax network.
Like the previous budget, the finance minister said, the overall budget deficit will remain with the 5 per cent of the GDP. The deficit will stand at Taka 1412.12 billion taka which will be met up through borrowing from both domestic and external sources.
In his budget speech, Kamal talked about widening of the social safety net further, aiming to include more vulnerable section of the population under protection.
He proposed allocation of 743.67 billion taka this sector in the upcoming fiscal, up from 644.04 billion taka in the outgoing financial year.
This is the the country’s 48th national budget and 20th by the Awami League government in its staggered five five-year terms since Bangladesh’s liberation in 1971.
The budget also proposed developing a “Start up Fund” for the first time in the country for young entrepreneurs who would be able to take soft-term loans to launch and run their businesses.
Special allocations were proposed for new educational institutions under the government’s Monthly Payment Order (MPO) scheme.