Parliament passes new budget of ‘lives and livelihoods’

Parliament passed the Tk 603,681 crore national budget for the fiscal year 2021-22 on Wednesday, the last day of the outgoing fiscal year (2020-21).

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal moved the Appropriations Bill, 2021 seeking a budgetary allocation of Tk 792,912.95 crore which was passed by voice vote.

On Tuesday, Parliament passed the Finance Bill 2021 with some changes.

Following the proposal mooted in the House by the Finance Ministry for the parliamentary approval of appropriation of funds for meeting necessary development and non-development expenditures of the government, the ministers concerned placed justifications for the expenditures by their respective ministries through 59 demands for grant.

Earlier, Parliament rejected by voice vote 625 cut-motions that stood in the name of opposition members on 59 demands for grants for different ministries.

Twelve MPs from Jatiya Party and BNP submitted their cut-motions on the budget, themed as “Bangladesh towards a resilient future protecting lives and livelihoods’.

They are Kazi Firoze Rashid, Rustam Ali Farazi, Mujibul Huq, Fakhrul Imam, Pir Fazlur Rahman, Shamim Haider Patwari, Begum Rawshan Ara Mannan, Harun Ur Rashid, Mosharrof Hossain, Liaquat Hossain Khoka, Mokabbir Kan, and Rumeen Farhana.

They were, however, allowed to participate in the discussion on Law Ministry, Secondary and Higher Education Division and Health Services Division.

Later, Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury applied guillotine to quicken the process of passing the demands for grants for different ministries without giving the lunch break.

Opposition and independent MPs were present in the House when the Appropriation Bill was passed in Parliament and they did not raise any voice against passing of the bill.

The finance minister on June 3 placed a Tk 603,681 crore-national budget for 2021-22 fiscal to get the economy moving in spite of the crippling Covid-19 pandemic with a strong focus on vaccinating the population and shoring up their jobs.

A bold target has been set to achieve 7.2 per cent of GDP growth with a deficit totalling Tk. 214,618 crore, which is 6.2 per cent of GDP.

To meet the deficit, Tk 101,228 crore will come from external sources, while Tk 113,453 crore from domestic sources of which Tk 76,452 crore will come from the banking system and Tk 37,001 crore from savings certificates and other non-bank sources.

The growth rate for 2021-2022 has been fixed at 7.2 percent, remaining consistent with the government’s long-term plan and taking the post-Covid recovery situation into account while expecting the inflation rate will be 5.3 per cent during the period.

Total allocation for operating and other expenditures has been set at Tk 378,357 crore, while the allocation for the annual development program is Tk 225,324 crore.

The total revenue income in the fiscal year 2021-2022 has been fixed at Tk 389,000 crore, which is 11.3 percent of GDP. Out of this, Tk 330,000 crore will be collected through the NBR sources. Tax revenue from non-NBR sources has been estimated at Tk 16,000 crore, while the non-tax revenue is estimated to be Tk 43,000 crore.

The allocation for the social infrastructure sector in the next fiscal budget is Tk 170,510 crore, which is 28.25 percent of total allocation, in which allocation for human resources sector (education, health and other related sectors) will be Tk 155,847 crore.

The allocation proposed for the physical infrastructure sector will be Tk. 179,681 crore or 29.76 percent, in which Tk 74,102 crore will go to overall agriculture and rural development, Tk 69,474 crore to overall communications, and Tk 27,484 crore to power and energy.

A total of Tk 1,45,150 crore has been allocated for general services, which is 24.04 percent of the total allocation. Tk 34,648 crore is for public-private partnerships (PPP), financial assistance to different industries, subsidies, equity investments in state-owned, commercial and financial institutions, which is 5.74 percent of the total allocation.

Source: United News of Bangladesh