The 11th JatiyaSangsad(JS) goes into the budget session for 2020-21 fiscal year today (Wednesday) amid Covid-19 pandemic situation across the country.
Strictly maintaining all health safety directives, the session will beginat 5:00 pm at the SangsadBhavan with the participation of only about 80-90 enlisted lawmakers out of 350.
Lawmakers in their older age have been requested not to join the session due to the risks of coronavirus contamination.
This would be a short budget session that will continue for twelve days. The budget will be passed on June 30. Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal will place the national budget for 2020-2021fiscal in the parliament tomorrow (Thursday) at 3pm, a day after commencing the budget session.
The JS business advisory committee today will fix the duration of the upcoming eighth session with JS Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair.
Considering the ongoing and post Covid-19’s devastating impact on all sectors and reviving the country’s economy as well, the draft of the proposed Tk 568,000 crore budget will be placed tomorrow, finance ministry sources said. The proposed budget would have a deficit of Tk 3,81,016 crore as revenue collection target.
The size of the budget for the fiscal 2020-21 is five percent higher than the previous one.
The government is going to place the budget with a target of achieving 8.56 percent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rateexpecting to open up a new horizon for Bangladesh through some special initiatives, including creating massive jobs.
The government believes that the upcoming budget may address majorities of the obstacles faced by the corona crisis.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal after placing the proposed national budget will move the Appropriations Bill, seeking a budgetary allocation of Tk 568,000 crore which will have to be passed by voice vote.
The size of Annual Development Programme (ADP) has been set at Taka 2,05,145 crore in the draft budget.
“Out of the total ADP outlay, Tk 1,34,643 crore will come from the local sources while Tk 70,502 crore from foreign sources, Planning Minister MA Mannan said.
Besides, according to the allocation in the budget, Tk 38,688 crore has been allocated for various subsidy programmesand incentive packages and Tk 27,706 crore for pension and gratuity.
Apart from these, Tk 63801 crore for loan and Tk 27961 crore for investment in share and equity sector were also proposed for allocation.
Sources in the finance ministry said the education sector is going to get the highest allocation in the upcoming budget with Tk 85,760 crore as allocation for the sector.
Finance Minister said that the government has taken many initiatives in the next budget to overcome the economic losses caused by Covid-19 pandemic.
The national budget for the fiscal 2020-21 will create new employment opportunities aimed at overcoming the losses incurred during the lockdown economic crisis.
“After bouncing back from the COVID shocks, the GDP growth could return to its impressive trend as the government was expecting 8.2 percent expansion in GDP in the next fiscal,”the minister mentioned.
However, the budget deficit is projected to be Tk1,85,984 crore, which is 5.8 percent of the GDP that is going to cross the 5 percent benchmark after a decade.
The government has primarily set about Tk 82,421 crore borrowing target from banks, Tk 76,004 crore from foreign sources and the remaining from savings and others.
Besides, the rate of inflation is likely to be set at 5.4 percent for the next fiscal, in anticipation of a normal supply of commodities and a stable market.
Of the total Tk523,190 crore national budget for the current fiscal year, the overall budget deficit stands at Tk145,380 crore, which is 5 percent of the GDP.
In the next budget, the National Board of Revenue (NBR), country’s central authority for tax administration, has set the revenue collection target at Tk 3,30,000 crore in the next budget.
The main target of NBR in the current fiscal year was Tk 3,25,600 crore. This target has been reduced to Tk 3,00,500 crore due to non-collection of revenue at the desired rate.
On the other hand, BSS adds except the budget presentation day, the parliament session will begin from 10.30am and it will continue till 1.30pm without any break.
Considering the health risk due to the corona situation, diplomats from different countries and the important personalities of the country are not being invited to participate in the budget session.
To check the corona infection, changes has been brought in sitting arrangements in the parliament.
A significant number of seats around the Prime Minister’s seat would be kept vacant.
Same rule would be followed for other members, the release said, adding that the parliament members would follow the health guidelines.
Wearing of musk is mandatory for everyone and all the parliament members and employees will have to enter the parliament through the disinfectant tunnel.
Earlier President M Abdul Hamid summoned the session exercising the power bestowed upon him as per Clause (1) of Article 72 of the Constitution.
The JS in a statement said journalists have been urged to cover the budget session through the Sangsad Bangladesh Television, which will broadcast the session live due to outbreak of the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19).