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Muhith unwraps Tk 4.64 trillion budget today

Spl allocation for Rohingya refugees

FE Report | June 07, 2018 00:00:00

The government unveils the last budget of its present tenure today (Thursday).

Finance minister AMA Muhith is set to place the budget before Jatiya Sangsad with a record outlay of over Tk 4.64 trillion.

The size of the upcoming budget will be equivalent to 18 per cent of the country's gross domestic product or GDP, estimated at US$ 220 billion.

The Awami League government's fiscal blueprint comes months before the national elections and also at a time when both external and internal conditions not that comfortable.

The present government will be responsible for execution of the next budget for the first half of the next fiscal year (FY).

This will be the country's 47th budget and the 12th to be placed by Mr. Muhith.

The 85-year-old finance minister is scheduled to start his budget speech at 12:30pm.

He will be the first finance minister to place the national budget for the 10th time in a row since 2009.

The budget for next fiscal is likely to set a revenue target of Tk 3.39 trillion.

Of the amount, the National Board of Revenue will mobilise Tk 2.96 trillion, or 32 per cent higher than the revised collection target for the outgoing fiscal year.

The NBR's revenue growth rate was 18 per cent in the first 10 months of FY 2017-18.

Given the tax revenue growth witnessed during the outgoing fiscal, the government might face a few challenges to meet the target to be set for the upcoming one.

The budget deficit is in the upcoming fiscal is projected to reach Tk 1.25 trillion or 4.9 per cent of the GDP.

Officials involved in the budget preparation told the FE that this year the finance minister would give priority to the social safety net, infrastructure, power and other nationally important projects.

The government is unlikely to raise the tax-free income ceiling for individuals.

But it will cut the corporate tax rates, in some cases, in response to persistent demand from the businesses.

Rohingya issue is likely to be a major concern for the finance minister, as he plans to set aside a considerable amount in the national budget.

The money is meant for sheltering and feeding over 1.0 million Rohingya refugees.

The minister recently said that the target for GDP growth would be set at 7.8 per cent for the next financial year.

Meanwhile, the National Economic Council (NEC) approved a Tk 1.808 trillion Annual Development Programme (ADP) for FY'19.

Of the ADP allocation, Tk 1.198 trillion will be mobilised domestically and the rest will come from external sources.

In the next fiscal year, the government will also provide housing loans to around 1.4 million government employees at low interest rates.

Like the previous year, the budget this year too will be presented on PowerPoint and all the fiscal documents will be made available on the website of the finance division -- www.mof.gov.bd.

The budget documents will also be available on www.bangladesh.gov.bd, www.nbr-bd.org, www.plancomm.gov.bd, www.imed.gov.bd, www.bdpressinform.org, www.pmo.gov.bd.

Any person or organisation at home and abroad can send feedback, opinions or recommendations by filling up a form after downloading it from the website.

The opinions and recommendations the government receives will be considered.

Muhith will speak at a post-budget press conference at Osmani Memorial Auditorium on June 8 (Friday) at 2:30 pm.


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