Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque on Saturtday said the government will bear 100% medical costs for all freedom fighters from the next fiscal year.
He made the disclosure at the general discussions on the proposed national budget for FY2018-19.
Mozammel lamented that introduction of “Swadhinata” allowance for freedom fighters was not accommodated in the proposed budget. He said only Tk360 crore would be requiredfor the allowance on the occasion of 26th March Independence Day.
He hoped that the prime minister and the finance minister would consider the introduction of the allowance.
He, however, said the Boishakhi allowance marking the first day of the Bengali New Year and Victory Day allowance have been recognised in the proposed budget.
Participating in the discussion, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said there are some deviations in the proposed budget for 2018-19 over protecting the country’s local industries.
He said he has already spoken to the prime minister and the finance minister to look into the matter.
Tofail said the budget was overallexcellent. “It is a pro-people budget and all the people will enjoy its benefits,” he said.
He said the government has already started negotiations with European and other countries so that Bangladesh’s products continue enjoying the existing market access under the GSP-plus facilities when it will eventually become non-applicable.
Joining the discussion, opposition chief whip Tajul Islam Choudhury put forward six recommendations to remove the weakness of the budget for the sake of its implementation.
The suggestions include reducing the prices of diesel and kerosene, decreasing interest rate on savings certificates, bringing rice prices under control, formation of a reform commission for the banking and financial sector to remove the weakness of the sector, devaluation of taka against foreign currency for a short term to give facilities to the export and remittance sectors, and proper supervision of development work.
He also criticised the finance minister for not saying anything about share market scams in the proposed budget.
Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu, Jasod MP Moinuddin Khan Badal, State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Meher Afroze Chumki, Awami League MPs Nurul Islam Sujan and Nazrul Islam Babu, among others, participated in the discussion on the proposed budget.