The Business Post
Sunday, July 05, 2020

Home National

Staff Correspondent
29 Jun 2020 22:28:00

Big budget can be implemented as people work hard: Kamal tells Parliament

Big budget can be implemented as people work hard: Kamal tells Parliament

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said big budget can be implemented as people of our countrymen are working hard.

“I am hoping that all the people of the country will come forward to implement the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2020-21.”

"We will prove that even such a large budget can be implemented because people work hard,” the finance minister made the remarks while concluding his speech on the passed finance bill -2020 in Parliament on Monday.

AHM Mustafa Kamal said, “An additional Tk 10,000 crore has been allocated to smooth out the effect of Covid-19 and we have allocated Tk 29,237 crore for health ministry for next fiscal.”

“At the outset of the budget, the Prime Minister instructed us to focus on tracing our roots to agriculture which is the backbone of our rural economy. Therefore, the agriculture sector has also been given more importance in the budget,” he said adding that from agriculture about 40 percent of us still get employment and the sector can be a key area for us to move forward."

"By meeting our own needs, we will be able to provide food to many in the region, inshaAllah," he said.

Minister said, “Because of our hardworking and self-confident farmer brothers, we have recently surpassed Indonesia in rice production.”

In the last 50 years, our food production has increased almost four and a half times — a world record, he said.

Kamal said,“People, who have been affected by COVID-19, include marginalized farmers, workers, blacksmiths, weavers, fishermen, health workers, van drivers, rickshaw pullers etc.”

He continued, “This year's budget is for all, be they grocers,craftsmen, large traders or people of ethnic groups who are in trouble.”

Minister said, “I could not exclude any individual or group from this budget. If we could exclude someone, the size of the budget could have been kept small, our budget deficit could have been kept small.”

The minister said, “The path of truth is bitter and hard and we knowingly followed the hard way. Some people are worried that this year's budget is not feasible to implement because it is much larger in size. But we are optimistic about the implementation of this budget. "

Elaborating on this, the finance minister said, "The actual achievement was much higher than the target we had set in each budget for the last five years." In the last 10 years, our GDP growth has been 188 percent which is above all in the world. China was near us with 177 percent. And India was 117 percent. The size of our GDP has tripled in the last 11 years.

He said, ‘Seven days after the presentation of the budget, the Asian Development Bank conducted another study on the growth of Bangladesh. They have shown that this year Bangladesh will achieve 7.5 percent growth. Our projection is 8.2 percent, projecting them closer to us. So, wewill be able to implement our budgetinsha'Allah,” he said.

“Ours is a diverse country. Yet we have not yet fully expanded any of the driving forces in our economic sphere. We talked about agriculture, we talked about industry, we talked about demographic dividends. But we have not been able to achieve any of them,”said Mustafa Kamal.

The minister said, "The only thing that comes up again and again is that our revenue to GDP ratio is very low, much less than 10 percent. No country like ours is below 16 percent. We have calculated that if we can scale up from 10 percent to 14 percent, then we can earn another Tk 1,20,000 crore a year. If you can do more, there are more possibilities. What work is needed for this? The only thing we can do is automation of NBR earning.

“We started (automation) last year, but couldn’t finish.This is not the end for coronavirus. We believe we will implement it as soon as possible this year inshaAllah” he added ...by doing this, we will prove that it is possible to implement such a big budget in Bangladesh,” the feisty finance minister added.