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Parliament passes Appropriation Bill

Tk 5.2-trillion annual budget for FY20 finally gets approval from the House

FE Report | July 01, 2019 00:00:00

The Jatiya Sangsad (Parliament) passed on Sunday the Appropriation Bill 2019, empowering the government to spend Tk. 6.4 trillion from the consolidated fund for meeting recurring, development and charged expenditures during the current fiscal year (FY) 2019-20.

With passage of the bill by voice vote, the Tk 5.2-trillion annual budget finally got approval from the House.

The opposition lawmakers (Jatiya Party, BNP and independent lawmakers) maintained silence when the bill was put to vote.

Finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal moved the bill, seeking a total of Tk 6.4 trillion from the consolidated fund. Of the amount, only Tk 4.8 trillion is in favour of ministries/divisions.

The ministers and divisions placed some 59 demands for grants.

Mr Kamal placed on June 13 last the budget for FY 2019-20 that proposed a development expenditure of over Tk 2.0 trillion.

The budget has made the projection that the gross domestic product will grow by 8.2 per cent in the current fiscal year.

The total revenue collection has been estimated at Tk 3.7 trillion during FY 2019-20.

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) will mobilise Tk 3.3 trillion as tax revenue. Tk 145 billion worth of tax will come from non-NBR sources while Tk 377.1 billion is projected to be collected as non-tax revenue.

A total of 255 lawmakers participated in the budget discussion beginning from June 13 last.

Earlier, opposition MPs submitted a total of 520 cut-motions but those were rejected by voice vote.

Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, who presided over the morning session beginning at 10:00 am, allowed only a few cut-motions.

They were allowed to participate in the discussion on secondary and higher education division, health and family welfare ministry, agriculture ministry and disaster management and relief ministry.

However, Dr Chaudhury applied guillotine to quicken the process of passage of the Appropriation Bill.

Jatiya Party and BNP MPs Rowshan Ara Mannan, Pir Fazlur Rahman, Mukabbir Khan, Fakhrul Imam, Harunur Rashid, Rustom Ali Farazi, Kazi Feroz Rashid, Rumin Farhana and Mujibul Hoque submitted cut-motions.

Earlier on Saturday, the House passed the Finance Bill 2019 with some amendments over the capital market, VAT and handloom industry, and scrapping an opportunity to invest black money to buy land.

Speaking on the cut-motion on health ministry, Feroz Rashid said doctors are becoming politicised, so people do not get the services up to their expectation.

Referring to the Swadhinata Chikitsak Parishad, he said, "You [Awami League] did it [to control doctors]."

Harunur Rashid MP said the presence of doctors at rural healthcare centres is very poor.

On the same motion, Rumin Farhana said the government has allowed some people to do business in the health sector through lower budgetary allocation for the health sector.

On the other hand, replying to cut-motions on agriculture ministry, Dr Abdur Razzak said the government is gradually mechanising agriculture.

"We've Tk 30 billion unutilised fund and we're planning to use it for mechanisation of our agriculture as it will help lower the cost of production," the agriculture minister said.

Last year, the government allocated Tk 90 billion as subsidy for agriculture ministry. But it could utilise Tk 60 billion only.

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