Mega budget coming today

Eyes mammoth development

With an ambitious target to mobilize record revenue without imposing burden on taxpayers, and enforcing new Vat law for implementing huge development projects, the government is going to unveil a mega budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year eyeing to achieve higher growth of 8.25 percent.

Finance Minister A.H.M. Mustafa Kamal is expected to place a Tk 523,191 crore budget, the highest-ever in the country’s history, at the Jatiya Sangsad today. This budget will be first of the present government that assumed power through general elections on December 30, 2018, and also the first one for the finance minister.

As per the draft budget, the government has set a revenue target for the National Board of Revenue (NBR) at Tk 325,600 crore, while that for non-NBR is Tk 14,500 crore, and non-tax revenue at Tk 37,710 crore. For meeting expenditure for numerous number of development projects in the coming year, the government has estimated Tk 202,721 crore allocation for annual development programme (ADP).

For speedy implementation of the development projects under ADP, Tk 130,921 crore will be mobilized from internal sources, while the rest of Tk 71,800 crore has been planned to receive from external sources. To finance the overall budget deficit, the government plans to borrow Tk 26,500 crore from savings tools and Tk 54,800 crore from banks.

According to the draft, total budget deficit for the upcoming fiscal year is estimated 5 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) to the tune of Tk 145,380 crore of the next fiscal, against the outgoing fiscal’s deficit of Tk 121,242 crore. Incorporating the autonomous bodies and corporation’s own fund of Tk 12,392.73 crore, the overall ADP size would be Tk 2,15,113.73 crore.

The government’s NBR revenue target for the coming fiscal will be around 40 percent higher than the proceeds of FY2018-19. The target for NBR is around 75 percent of total income. This amount is around 40 percent higher than the earnings of the outgoing fiscal year FY2018-19 and 16.02 percent more than the revised target of Tk 280,630 crore for the outgoing year.

The finance minister, however, has mentioned that the upcoming budget will be a more realistic revenue plan and achievable with enforcement of the new Vat law that has been awaiting for last several months for its execution due to opposition by the business leaders.
In the coming fiscal, the transport sector will get the highest importance as the government wants to ensure rapid development of infrastructure including roads, railways and bridges for smooth communication of passengers and goods for facilitating trade and commerce and private sector growth for employment generation.

Special importance will also be given to human development, power, education, health and public-private partnership in the new budget.
In the first 10 months of the current fiscal (July-April), 54.63 percent of revised ADP has been implemented as the ministries and departments have so far spent Tk 96,493 crore. In the same period last fiscal (2017-18), 52.42 percent ADP was implemented, spending Tk 82,603 crore,” he said.

The size of ADP for the current fiscal (2018-2019) was Tk 173,000 crore, which was revised to Tk 165,000 crore. A Tk 9,620 crore RADP for the autonomous bodies and corporations was also approved, and with this the overall size of RADP rose to Tk 174,620 crore. There are some 89 projects which would be implemented by the autonomous bodies and corporations in the coming year.

Transport sector will get the highest allocation TK 52,805.69 crore, which is 26.5 percent of the total ADP as the government is constructing Padma Multipurpose Bridge, Padma Rail Link, Metro Rail Service and other ongoing mega projects. The second highest allocation of Tk 26,017.13 crore will be given for energy sector, 12.83 per cent of total ADP size and the third highest allocation of Tk 24,324 crore for the housing sector.

In the coming budget, Local Government Division (LGD) would get the highest division-wise allocation of Tk 29,776 crore, while Power Division Tk 26,014.44 crore – the second highest allocation, Roads and Highways Division gets third highest allocation of Tk 25,163.36 crore in the ADP.
Among others, Science and Technology Ministry will get Tk 15,908 crore, Railways Ministry Tk 12,599 crore, Health Services Division Tk 9,936 crore, Primary and Mass Education Ministry Tk 9,270 crore, Secondary and Higher Education Division Tk 8,927 crore, Bridges Division Tk 8,561 crore and Water Resources Ministry Tk 6,257 crore.

The education and religious sector will get an allocation of Tk 21,379 crore, Science and ICT sector Tk 17,541 crore, rural development and rural institution sector Tk 15,157 crore, health, nutrition, population and family welfare sector Tk 13,055 crore, agriculture sector Tk 7,616 crore, water resources sector Tk 5,653 crore, and public administration sector Tk 5,024 crore.