13 June 2019, Thu, 10:33

Secretary General terms the declared budget as highly ambitious and unrealistic

Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami’s Secretary General Dr. Shafiqur Rahman has issued the following statement on 13 June 2019 responding to the 523,190-crore taka highly ambitious budget for the fiscal year 2019-20, declared by the finance minister of the incumbent authoritarian government AHM Mustafa Kamal this noon.

“Today’s declared budget is fully dependent on deficit and it is highly ambitious. This budget is far away from reality. The government could not implement the budget of previous fiscal year and they will not be able to make it this time as well.

In the proposed budget, total allocation for operating and other expenditures is Tk 320,469 crore, and allocation for the annual development program is Tk 202,721 crore. Depending on the planned tax management steps, the total revenue collection has been estimated to be Tk 377,810 crore in 2019-20. Out of this, Tk 325,660 crore will be collected through the National Board of Revenue. Tax revenue from non-NBR sources have been estimated at Tk 14,500 crore. Besides, non-tax revenue is estimated at Tk 37,710 crore. The overall budget deficit will be Tk 145,380 crore, which is 5 per cent of GDP. In financing the deficit, Tk 68,016 crore will come from external sources and Tk 77,363 crore from domestic sources. Almost one third of the budget is loan based. The government has to suffer a lot to pay the interests of those loans. The inflation is to be expected 5.5 percent. It will be much higher.

The government set the GDP target 8.2 percent. In the previous fiscal year, the targeted GDP was 7.86 percent which could not be achieved. Though the government is manipulating the scenario to establish their claim of achieving GDP, but the economists are not agreed with such view. The tax-free level is set again at 2 lac and 50 thousand taka which is nothing but a farce with the low-income people. It should be taka 5 lac at least. The government could not meet its revenue target last year and they will suffer in the upcoming year as well. The budget did not place any directives to create employment opportunities. This budget is not people-friendly at all. Though some solvent quarters became happy with this budget, but it will ingrain frustration and disappointment among the poor communities. As the present government is not elected, so they could overlook the interest the majority section of the population.

We will deliver our details reaction about this budget later.”