Stresses on stability of govt to turn country into a modern hightech like Singapore

SANGSAD BHABAN, Treasury bench members today put emphasis on continuity of the incumbent government for keeping the pace of development to lead the country not only to a digitalized one but it also help to transform the country into a highly technologybased smart country like Singapore.

Taking part in the general discussion for the ninth consecutive day on the proposed budget for 201920 fiscal in the Jatiya Sangsad, the lawmakers said the stability of the present government for more fifteen years would help the country to an economic power and modern country like Singapore within the stipulated time.

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on June 13 in the Jatiya Sangsad unveiled a Taka 5,23,190 crore national budget for 201920 fiscal setting the GDP growth target at 8.2 percent and delineating a set of programmes to transform the country into a role model of modern and welfare state by 2041.

Participating in the proposed budget discussion, former health minister Ruhul Haq said Lee Kuan Yew, a Singapore Prime Minister, whose efficient but often heavyhanded leadership helped transform Singapore from a chaotic British colonial backwater into one of the world's most prosperous and orderly states between 1959 to 1990.

Under his leadership, Singapore's rise as one of the globe's leading financial centers and busiest ports, with GDP per capita ranked third in the world, said the ruling party leader.

At the same time, Haq said, Lee Kuan Yew had turn Singapore into a prosperous one as he had been ruled the country for at least 30 years, saying that so, Bangladesh could be a smart country like Singapore if the present leadership led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina would continue for another 15 years.

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the country now has emerged as developing country from the status of Lower Development Country (LDC) as per the evaluation of the United Nations, said Minister for Industries Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun.

The proposed budget would reinforce the trend of industrialization as the tax holiday for the industrialization will be continued till 2024, said the minister.

Highlighting the proposed budget as timebefitting, State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Minister Dr Enamur Rahman said the proposed budget has allocated Taka 2,11,683 crore for the Annual Development Programme (ADP), Taka 9,270 crore for Primary and Mass Education, Taka 8,927 crore for higher secondary education, Taka 9,960 crore for health sector and Taka 74,000 crore for the social safety net.

These budgetary allocations would ensure development of our fundamental needs like education and health and also cut the extreme poverty rate, the state minister echoed.

Bangladesh had drowned in the darkness after the BNPJammat came to power in 2001 led by Begum Khaleda Zia, said ruling party lawmaker and Awami League joint general secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif, but the country now has reached to the highway of development under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Awami League lawmaker Yusuf Abdullah Harun said many critics alleged that development activities are taking place in the country, but employment is not being created.

But, he said the thing is that huge activities are being occurred in the country's ecommerce sector, which will be multi billion dollar market soon and will exceed the RMG sector in the future, creating employment opportunities for millions of people.

Discussing on the proposed budget, former president of the apex business body Harun underscored the need for bringing a reform in the National Board of Revenue (NBR) and not giving scopes of whitening black money in the budget.

We are giving a foundation so that the country becomes a developed one by 2041, said Jatiya Party lawmaker Anisul Islam Mahmud.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina already has been able to convince the people regarding the development, he said, adding that the ongoing development has created a positive impact for the last ten years not only among the local people but also among the people abroad, said the Jatiya party leader.

Anisul, however, told the House political stability, foreign investment, curbing corruption and reshuffle of the tax department officials are needed to implement the mega budget.

Terming the proposed budget is hard to implement, Mahmud said our taxGDP efficiency is only 9 to 10 per cent, adding that we need to recruit more efficient manpower in entire administration and it is time to think about it.

Taking part in the budget discussion, Jatiya Party lawmaker Mujibul Haque urged the government to procure rice directly from the farmers instead of the middlemen so that farmers can get fair price of their crops.

He demanded formation of an independent commission to find out the defaulted money through conducting inquiries against the loan defaulters.

Suggesting the increase in budgetary allocation for the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, the lawmaker requested for giving car facilities to the High Court judges and additional district judges working at grassroots level.

Mujibul requested the Finance Minister for imposing 50 percent Value Added Tax on cigarette to cut tobacco consumption aiming to protect public health.

Discussing on the proposed budget, Agriculture Minister Dr M Abdur Razzaque said, it is true that the country has some crisis in banking management and realization of the default loan.But the government is not sitting idle to overcome those problems, he said.

Ruling out a comment on the proposed budget that it[the budget] will protect the interest of only five per cent people, Dr Razzaque said the proposed budget has taken a total of 130 programmes under the safety net programme which would help benefit of at least 5 crore people.

Treasury bench member , whip . Atiur Rahman Atik, State Minister for Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD) Swapan Bhattacharya, State Minister for Fisheries and Livestock Ashraf Ali Khan Khasru, Md. Mokbul Hossain, Motahar Hossian, Nur Mohammad, Nesar Ahmed, Umme Fatema Nazma Begum, Farida Khanam, Shabnam Jahan, Basanti Chakma, Nadira Yeasmin Jolly, Shamima Akter Khanam, Nazrul Islam Chowdhury, Md Nurul Amin, Habibur Rahman, Monowar Hossain Chowdhury, Abdul Momin Mondol, Mohammad Shahiduzzaman, Muslem Uddin, Habiba Rahman Khan, Jinnatul Bakia, Momota Hena Lovely, Gloria Jharna Sarker, Abdul Aziz, Mamunur Rashid Kiron, Zakia Parvin Khanam, Rabeya Alim, Fahmi Gulandaz Babel, Mohammad Iqbal Hossain, Anwarul Azim (Anar), Razee Mohammad Fakhrul , Mouazzam Hossain Ratan , Ratna Ahmed, Ali Azam , Hosne Ara, Shaimum Sarwar Kamal , Zillul Hakim, Sultana Nadira and Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh lawmaker Abdul Mannan and Jatiya Party lawmaker Mashiur Rahman Ranga, Golam Kibria Tipu, took part in the discussion.

Earlier, they paid their cordial tribute to the memory of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, four national leaders, martyred freedom fighters and also those who made their utmost sacrifices during the War of Liberation and all subsequent democratic movements in the country.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)