The prime minister presents the budget speech as finance minister falls sick
The government has proposed a mammoth national budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year in parliament.
It is the biggest-ever national budget proposed in Bangladesh’s history – amounting to a whopping Tk523,190 crore.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal started announcing the mammoth budget in the House around 3:07pm on Thursday, reported UNB.
However, as Kamal started having problems in giving the speech due to illness, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina stepped in, asking Speaker of the House Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury for permission to take over the rest of the presentation.
Upon receiving the speaker’s approval, the prime minister finished the budget speech.
After the budget speech, the finance minister placed the Finance Bill before the House.
Around 4:45pm, the speaker adjourned the session until Sunday.
The proposed budget aims at collecting Tk377,810 crore as revenue in the new fiscal year.
Of the amount, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) has been tasked to collect Tk325,600 crore, while non-NBR revenue collection target has been set at Tk14,500 crore. The non-collection target is Tk37,710 crore.
Tk4,168 crore will come from foreign grants.
A 15-minute documentary highlighting various economic developments of the government was shown through a multimedia presentation before the beginning of the budget speech.
This was Kamal's first presentation of the national budget, following in the footsteps of veteran economist and former finance minister AMA Muhith.
This was also the first budget of the Awami League-led 14-party alliance government since it was elected for a third term during the December 30 national elections, reported BSS.
The FY2019-20 budget is the 48th national budget in Bangladesh and the 20th formulated by an Awami League government.
Kamal was 12th finance minister to place the national budget before parliament.
Earlier on Thursday, the Cabinet, in a special meeting with the prime minister in chair, approved the budget proposal in the parliament cabinet room.
The finance minister, other cabinet ministers and state ministers concerned attended the meeting.
President Abdul Hamid authenticated the national budget and the revised budget for presentation before parliament.
The budget documents are available on the website of the Finance Division at www.mof.gov.bd, as well as www.bangladesh.gov.bd, www.nbr-bd.org, www.plancomm.gov.bd, www.imed.gov.bd, www.bdpressinform.org, and www.pmo.gov.bd.
Citizens or organizations at home and abroad can give feedback, opinions, or recommendations by filling out a form, after downloading it from the website.
The post-budget press conference will be held at 3pm on Friday at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Agargaon, Dhaka.
Read the full budget speech for FY20 here.