• Wednesday, Apr 01, 2020
  • Last Update : 11:47 am

Parliament passes bill to utilize ‘idle money’ of state entities

  • Published at 07:59 pm February 5th, 2020
Parliament House
File photo of the Parliament building Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

An amount of Tk2,12,100 crore remains idle with at least 68 organisations, government says

The parliament has passed the bill to utilize idle money of state entities for maintaining the current ongoing development programs throughout Bangladesh.

The bill has been passed in the parliament on Wednesday with a view to allowing the government for using surplus fund of different government organizations for maintaining the undergoing development programs throughout the country, reports BSS.

The title of the bill is "Disposition of Surplus Money of Self-Governed Agencies including Autonomous, Semi-Autonomous and Statutory Government Authorities and Public Non-Financial Corporations to the National Exchequer Bill 2019".

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal piloted the bill in the House amid opposition from the opposition bench. 

Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, moved the bill for voting after it was passed by a voice vote.

“It is necessary to enact the law for implementing the socio-economic development programs and this huge fund deposited in the bank would be spent for the welfare of the nation,” said the finance minister while flagging the necessity for enactment of the law.

Placing the bill, Mustafa Kamal said the enactment will help to bring financial discipline in economy of Bangladesh, adding that “the transformation of the idle fund which amounts to Tk2,12,100 crore would not hamper the development activities of these respective organizations.”

On January 14, 2020, the Finance Minister placed a bill in the parliament and was sent it to the respective Parliamentary Standing Committees.

Of the idle money, the surplus one will be deposited to the national exchequer after keeping aside the operational cost, additional 25% of operational cost as emergency fund, money for general provident fund (GPF) and pension.

The respective organisations can estimate its operational cost.

The latest balance of 68 organisations, an amount of Tk2.12,100 crore remains stagnant as fixed deposit receipts (FDR) in different banks and the money is not being invested for its better use.

Earlier, the cabinet approved a draft law allowing the government to use the surplus funds of different self-governed agencies including autonomous, semi-autonomous, statutory authorities, public non-financial corporations for the ‘welfare of the public.’

The government took the move to bring the surplus funds into its exchequer to ensure their ‘better use’ as Tk2,12,100 crore remains idle with at least 68 such organisations, according to the government decision.

Five organizations having the highest idle money are- Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation has Tk21,580 crore idle money, Petrobangla (Bangladesh Oil, Gas & Mineral Corporation) Tk18,204 crore, Power Development Board Tk13,454 crore, Chittagong Seaport Tk9,913 crore and Rajuk (Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha) Tk4,030 crore.

Criticising the bill, opposition Jatiya Party lawmakers Kazi Feroz Rashid, Mujibul Haq, Shamim Haider Patwary, Fakhrul Imam and BNP lawmakers Rumin Farhana and Harunur Rashid called the minister to withdraw the bill.