Mega budget coming up

The government is leading up to a mega budget to the tune of Tk 5.25 trillion for the upcoming 2019-2020 fiscal. The total outlay is going to touch a new height as the government is pledge-bound to create new jobs and control currency devaluation on top of implementing the ongoing mega projects as early as possible, the sources at finance and planning ministries said.

Reducing dependence on foreign aids, the government has attached priority to mobilising resources from internal sources to meet the budget expenditure.
The next budget will be 13 percent higher than the current one. The size of the current budget for FY19 is Tk 4.64 trillion, setting the GDP growth target at 7.8 percent in a bid to further alleviate poverty, reduce inequalities and bring basic and qualitative changes in the living standards of the people.

The size of the upcoming budget was estimated at a recent meeting of the national coordination council and the resources committee held at Bangladesh Secretariat with Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal in the chair. In order to maintain high growth trend, the GDP was estimated at 8.2 percent for the coming fiscal.

The government, however, has projected 8.13 percent GDP growth for the outgoing fiscal. The size of the Annual Development Programme (ADP) will be Tk 2 trillion for the upcoming fiscal in order to implement mega development projects, infrastructure development and construction of roads, highways, bridge and culverts across the country.

The budget session is likely to begin after the vacation of Eid-ul-Fitr as the Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal is set to place the next budget on June 13.
It will be first budget of Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal. The national coordination council and the resources committee, are the policymaking forum of the finance sector. And the finance minister is president of both the committees.

Apart from budget, the meeting also discussed the overall situation in the financial sector. Discussion also took place regarding National Board of Revenue’s (NBR) activities to mobilise resources from internal sources to meet the budget expenditure. For 2018-19 fiscal year, the government set revenue target at Tk 3,39,280 crore. Of the amount, the NBR has been tasked to source Tk 2,96,201 crore.

But the NBR said it would not be possible for it to collect the amount at the end of fiscal. And the target has been reduced to 2,80,000 crore. However, according to the NBR, if the present revenue collection trend continues, it will be possible for the organisation to collect Tk 2,35,000 crore in revenue. On the other hand, the government is mulling setting the revenue collection target at Tk 3,60,000 crore for the next fiscal.

But the NBR categorically said it would not possible for the institution to collect the amount for the upcoming fiscal. According to the NBR officials, the trend of revenue collection has been changing. After the independence, the revenue of the country was dependent on customs, they said, adding that the scenario has changed in the last couple of years as revenue collection from income tax has surpassed that from customs, according to the officials.

Apart from these, the government is also mulling keeping a sizeable amount for expediting the 10 growth-generating large projects, identified as ‘Mega Projects’, which are: (1) Padma Multi-purpose Bridge Project (2) Padma Rail Bridge Project (3) Rooppur Nuclear Power Project (4) Rampal Coal-based Power Project (5) Chattogram-Dohajari to Ramu-Cox’s Bazar and Ramu-Gundum Railway Construction Project (6) Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project (7) Construction of Payra Seaport (First Phase) Project (8) Sonadia Deep Seaport (9) Matarbari Ultra supercritical Coal-fired Power Project and (10) Construction of Maheshkhali Floating LNG Terminal Project.