Budget is propeople, businessfriendly, implementable: experts

DHAKA, Affirming the proposed national budget for fiscal 201920 as time befitting, propeople, businessfriendly and implementable, economists and businessmen today said the government should take effective measures from the beginning to address the challenges for its implementation.

Talking to BSS, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) President Sheikh Fazle Fahim opined the proposed budget is a roadmap of the nation's journey towards the middleincome country, as it has been formulated maintaining the continuity and in line with the sixth and seventh fiveyear plans.

Welcoming the new VAT law, Fahim said it would bring comfort to the small businessmen. He urged the government to give extra concentration so no complexity can rise during the implementation of the new VAT law.

The president of the apex trade body, however, expressed slight dissatisfaction regarding fixing the lowest VAT at 5 percent and said the government didn't consider FBCCI's proposal of setting 2 percent as the lowest VAT.

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Thursday placed the proposed national budget of Taka 523,190 crore for fiscal 201920 in parliament. The proposed budget is 12.62 percent higher than the main budget of the previous fiscal and 18.22 percent higher than the revised budget.

Mentioning the proposed budget as propeople and achievable, noted economist and Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) Chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad said the projected 8.2 percent GDP growth and 5.5 percent inflation rate is possible to achieve. But, he suggested the government to take effective measures from the beginning to implement the annual development programme (ADP).

Besides, the veteran economist opined that the major commitments of the Awami League's election manifesto have also been reflected in the proposed budged.

The PKSF chairman praised the government for increasing allocation in social safety net as well as for the people affected by river erosion caused from the climate change.

Hailing the proposed budget, Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) President Osama Taseer said it would play a pivotal role in expanding investment in the private sector creating a more business friendly environment.

The budget has reflected the relentless effort of the government in creating a business friendly environment under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, he noted.

The DCCI president thanked the finance minister for announcing a time befitting budget which aims to turning the country into a middle income one by creating more employment, eradicating poverty and developing human resource.

Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) VicePresident Golam Mainuddin said the government in the proposed budget has taken different initiatives such as onestop service, ease of doing business and EPZ to encourage investment and export. We would get the benefit if the initiatives are implemented on time and effectively.

He also welcomed the move of expanding the tax net but requested the government to take care so that the goal of achieving revenue target does not put additional pressure on the regular tax payers.

Bangladesh Economic Association (BEA) Vice President and former Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to United Nations in Geneva Md Abdul Hannan termed the proposed budget as realistic and said in no way the budget is ambitious in a country having a population of 17 crore.

He also opined the revenue target is also attainable.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)