BD Parliament passes budget after huge opposition

BD Parliament passes budget after huge opposition

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Dhaka, June 29 – Parliament on Thursday passed the Tk4,00,226crore national budget for FY 2017-18with a growth target of 7.4 percent, expecting to open up a new horizon for Bangladesh through some initiatives ahead of the next general election.Finance Minister AMA Muhith moved the Appropriations Bill, 2017 seeking a budgetary allocation of Tk 535214,15,92,000 which was passed by a voice vote.
Following the proposal mooted in the House by the Finance Ministry for parliamentary approval of appropriation of fund for meeting necessary development and non-development expenditures of the government, the ministers concerned placed justifications for the expenditures by their respective ministries, through 56 demands for grant.
Earlier, parliament rejected by voice vote a total of only 352 cut-motions that stood in the name of opposition and independent members on 59 demands for grants for different ministries.
A total of seven MPs from Jatiya Party and independent submitted their cut-motions on the budget.
They were allowed to participate in the discussion on Finance Division, Health Ministry, Local Government Division, Food Ministry, Roads and Highway Division and Power division.
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 and they did not raise any voice against passing of the bill.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith on June 1 unveiled a Tk 4,00,226 crore ambitious budget for the next fiscal year (2017-18).
On Wednesday, the House passed the Finance Bill-2017, suspending theproposed VAT for the next two years while there will be new slabs for imposition of the excise duty on bank deposits. The excise duty-free ceiling will be up to Tk 1 lakh. An excise duty of Tk 150 will be imposed on amount ranging from Tk 100,001 to Tk 5 lakh.
For Tk 500,001 to Tk 1000,000, it will be Tk 500 while the excise duty will be Tk 2,500 for Tk 1000,001 to Tk 1 crore, and Tk 12,000 will be imposed for over Tk 1 crore to Tk 5 crore while the rate will be Tk 25,000 for above Tk 5 crore.
Despite widespread concerns from the business community, Muhith proposed that the uniform VAT will be 15 percent over the next three years.
The major attention this time has been attached to power, education and ICT sectors. According to the allocation in the budget, 29.31 percent of the total outlay has been allocated to social infrastructure sector, of which 26.12 percent has been proposed for the human resource sub-sector (education, health and other related sectors); 31.74 percent of the total allocation has been proposed for the physical infrastructure sector, of which 13.02 percent will go to the overall agriculture and rural development, 11.88 percent to overall communication and 5.28 percent to power and energy sector. About 24.03 percent of the total allocation has been allotted for the general services sector. Besides, 1.88 percent has been allotted for public private partnership (PPP), financial assistance for various industries, subsidies and equity investment in state-owned banks, and financial institutions; 10.36 percent for interest repayment; and the rest 2.68 percent for net lending and miscellaneous expenditure.
The size of Annual Development Programme (ADP) has been set at Tk 1,53,331 crore. The revenue generation target has been set at Tk 2,87,990 crore leaving a deficit of Tk 1,12,276 crore. The National Board of Revenue (NBR) will generate Tk 2,48,190 crore of the targeted amount. The target of Non-NBR tax revenue collection has been fixed at Tk 8,662 crore. The target of non-tax revenue collection has been set at Tk 31,179 crore. To make up the financing according to Muhith’s plan, the government wants to source Tk 32,149 crore from non-bank borrowing, Tk 28,203 crore from the banking system and Tk 30,150 crore from the national savings schemes. Muhith also proposed tax exemption threshold for women and senior citizens, aged over 65 years, to be kept at Tk 3 lakh, person with disability at Tk 4 lakh and war-wounded gazetted freedom fighters at Tk 4.25 lakh. Meanwhile, taxpayers with an income above Tk 2.5 lakh to Tk 4 lakh annually will be taxed 10 percent of their income, Tk 5 lakh and above taxed 15 percent, Tk 6 lakh and above taxed 20 percent and Tk 30 lakh and above 25 percent of their income. He also proposed to keep unchanged the existing tax rate for publicly traded companies at 25 percent and for non-publicly traded companies at 35 percent. “The difference in tax rates should be maintained for encouraging the companies to be listed with the stock exchanges,” Muhith said in his speech. The Finance Minister also proposed to maintain minimum surcharge of Tk 3,000 if the net wealth exceeds Taka 2 crore and 25 lakh.
With the passage of both the Appropriation Bill-2017 and the Finance Bill-2017, the national budget of Tk4,00,226crore for fiscal 2017-18 got the approval of the JS on the day, just before the current financial year that will conclude on Friday. – UNB

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