Parliament Correspondent: Parliament on Sunday passed the Tk 5,23,190 crore national budget for the fiscal year 2019-20 which will be effective from July 1.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal moved the Appropriations Bill, 2019 seeking a budgetary allocation of Tk 6,42,478.27 crore which was passed by voice vote.
The budget of this fiscal year is themed as ‘Bangladesh on a Pathway to Prosperity: Time is Ours, Time for Bangladesh’.
This is the 48th budget of the country and first budget of the third successive term of the incumbent government. This is also the first budget for Mustafa Kamal as the finance minister and 11th consecutive budget for the AL-led government.
The session began with Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair in the Jatiya Sangsad at 10:00 am.
Earlier in the beginning of the session, opposition lawmakers who participated in budget discussion placed a total of 520 cut-motions and 59 demands for grants.
The parliament rejected by voice vote all the cut-motions.
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 at the House when the Appropriation Bill was passed in parliament.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on June 13 placed a Tk 5,23,190 crore largest-ever budget for the 2019-20 fiscal with a focus on developing communications infrastructure and human resources and achieve the 8.2 percent GDP growth.
Earlier on Saturday, the House passed the Finance Bill, 2019, without any significant changes as the government justified that the proposed budget did not impose additional tax, but budget did not has suggested how to increase new tax net.
After coming to power in December 30 in 2018, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal projected the economic developments achieved over the past decade with the present AL-led alliance in power.
The budget for the next fiscal showed that government’s revenue earnings would largely depend on NBR-generated (National Board of Revenue) tax (Tk3,25,600 crore) followed by other sources like non-tax revenues (Tk 37,710 crore) and non-NBR tax (Tk 14,500 crore). Still, there will be an income-expenditure mismatch of Taka1,45,380 crore.
Considering the interest of poor and marginalized people, the finance minister proposed to provide VAT exemption on the production and supply of bread, hand-made biscuits and hand-made cakes up to value of Taka 150, per kg.
But the proposed budget has imposed VAT o the products such as plastic and aluminum items, soybean oil, palm oil, sunflower oil, mustard oil which have been enjoying the exemption benefit for a long time, according to the budget speech.
The budget has also imposed 5 per cent supplementary duty on ice-cream and budget proposed increase supplementary duty from 5 to 10 per cent of the services provided through mobile phone SIM/RIM card.
To prevent gold smuggling, Mustafa Kamal proposed a reduction of duty of gold under passenger (non-tourist) and baggage (import) rules-2016 and for commercial import, he proposed from Taka 3,000/11.664 gm to Taka 2,000/11.664gm.
In his sector-specific budget allocation plan, Kamal reserved the biggest portion of 13.2 %for education and technology—followed by: 9.8% for public administration, 8.7 per cent for defense, 7.2 % for public order and safety, 6.5 per cent for social security and welfare, 4.3 % for health, and 2.7 % for transport and communication.
The Finance Minister kept aside a sizeable amount to expedite the 10 growth-generating projects, identified as “Mega Projects,” which are the: Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project, Padma Rail Bridge Project, Rooppur Nuclear Power Project, Rampal Coal Based Power Project, Chittagong-Dohajari to Ramu-Cox’s Bazar and Ramu-Gundum Railway Construction Project, Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project, Construction of Payra Sea port (First Phase) Project, Sonadia Deep Sea port, Matarbari Ultra Super Critical Coal Fired Power Project, and Construction of Maheshkhali Floating LNG Terminal Project.
risingbd/Dhaka/June 30, 2019/Asad/AI