Bangladesh Parliament passes Taka 3.4 trillion budget for 2016-2017 | Greenwatch Dhaka | The leading online daily of Bangladesh

Bangladesh Parliament passes Taka 3.4 trillion budget for 2016-2017

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Dhaka – Bangladesh Parliament on Thursday passed the country’s biggest ever national budget of Tk 340505 crore for 2016-2017 fiscal aiming at attaining a higher growth.
Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith on June 2 placed the proposed national budget, setting a 7.2 per cent gross domestic product growth target.
The national budget will come into an effect from July 1.
The House, with Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair, also adopted the Appropriation Bill-2016, piloted by Finance Minister seeking budgetary allocations of Tk 464553.97 crore for meeting the development and non-development expenditures for various ministries.
Treasury bench lawmakers passed the bill by a voice vote, rejecting some 420 cut motions put forwarded by opposition and independent lawmakers.
Following the proposal mooted in the House by the Finance Ministry for the 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 420 cut-motions that stood in the name of opposition and independent members on 56 demands for grants for different ministries.
A total of nine MPs from Jatiya Party and independent submitted their cut-motions on the budget. The nine MPs are Jatiya Party lawmakers Kazi Firoz Rashid, Fakhrul Imam, Nurul Islam Omar and Nurul Islam Milon, and independent lawmaker Selim Uddin, Rustum Ali Faraji, Tahjib Alam Siddique and Abdul Matin.
They were allowed to participate in the discussion on seven demands for grants related to the Bank and Financial Institutions Division, the Planning Division, the Education Ministry, the Health Ministry, the Local Government Division, the Disaster Management and Relief Ministry and the Religious Affairs Ministry.
In reply to the cut-motions of the demand for grant related to the Bank and Financial Institution, Muhith said they are also worried about plundering in the banking sector.
“We’re taking steps to prevent the recurrence. We’re investigating all the incidents and cases are being filed against those involved. You can be assured that the ACC will bring them under trial,” he said.
Later, Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury applied guillotine to quicken the process of passing the demands for grants for different ministries.
Opposition and independent MPs were present at the House when the Appropriation Bill was passed in Parliament.
Earlier on June 2, the Finance Minister placed the Tk 3,40,605 crore national budget for FY17.
The size of the National Budget is 15.5 percent, higher than the current fiscal year’s original budget and 29 percent higher than the revised one. The budget forecast the GDP growth rate at 7.2 percent while keeping inflation within 5.8 percent.
The new budget has allocated Tk 2,15,744 crore as non-development expenditure while Tk 1,10,700 crore under the Annual Development Programme (ADP).
Muhith in his budget speech titled ‘Marching towards growth development and equitable society’ said the communication sector has received the highest allocation in the development outlay followed by human resource, agriculture and power and energy.
According to budget documents, the revenue collection target for the FY has been estimated at Tk 2,42,752 crore which is 12.04 percent of the GDP.
Of the total projected revenue receipts, Tk 2,03,152 crore will be collected by the National Board of Revenue (NBR), while Tk 32,350 crore will come as non-tax revenues and the rest of Tk 7,250 crore from non-NBR collection.
Regarding the proposed revenue collection target for upcoming FY, Muhith said, “This is really a high ambitious target.”
This target will be 35.4 percent higher than that of the outgoing fiscal year. This money will be collected mainly from four sources, namely, income tax, VAT, supplementary duty and import duty.
The budget deficit for the next fiscal year will be Tk 97,853 crore (5.0 per cent of the GDP) from Tk 86,657 crore in the outgoing FY.
Out of the total deficit budget, Tk 38,947 crore will be financed from the external sources while Tk 61,548 crore from the domestic sources. Of domestic financing, Tk 38,938 crore will come from banking system and Tk 22,610 crore from other non-banking borrowing sources.
Muhith, however, in his budget kept the tax-exempted income threshold (Tk2.50 lakh) for individual taxpayers and company tax rates unchanged for the next fiscal year. He also listed a number of programmes undertaken in the past seven years.
The programmes include ‘Ekti Bari, Ekti Khamar’ (One House, One Farm), social protection, ghore ghore bidyut (electricity in every household), community clinic and child development, women empowerment, ashrayan (shelter), educational assistance, Digital Bangladesh, environment protection, and investment development.
Earlier, on Wednesday, the House passed the Finance Bill-2016, with some changes as proposed by the Finance Minister to the original one that was placed before the House at the time of the presentation of the budget for fiscal 2016-17 on June 2 last.
The Finance Bill 2016 was passed curtailing tax at source on all export earnings. The tax at sources was reduced at 0.70 percent from the proposed 1.5 percent.
With the passage of both the Appropriation Bill-2016 and the Finance Bill-2016, the national budget of Tk 3,40,605 crore for fiscal 2016-17 got the approval of Parliament on the last day of the current financial year.

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