The BNP leader says this budget for the new fiscal year would do little to improve the economic condition of the country
The proposed budget was created to rob people of their money, said BNP's Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
"Yesterday (Wednesday), a budget of Tk4,65,573 crore was proposed in the national parliament," he said in a press briefing held in the BNP headquarters in Naya Paltan on Friday.
"But this budget was enhanced to loot money right before the upcoming election."
In his press briefing, Rizvi said the budget for the new fiscal year would do little to improve the economic condition of the country.
"Despite the big budget allocated last year, a huge portion of the population still remains below the poverty line," he said. "Macroeconomic factors are facing instability and tension."
Rizvi said the government would have to rely on loans and savings certificates to cover the budget deficit. "The target for FY 2018-19 is Tk3,39,280cr, and Tk2,96,201cr will be earned through the National Revenue Board by exploiting the public," he said.
Similarly, FY 2018-19 will also face a budget deficit as import costs are increasing while export earnings are decreasing, which will cause inflation, said Rizvi.
Corporate tax has been cut in the banking sector, but increased in the garment sector- which would make the rich richer and the poor poorer, Rizvi observed.
"Newer employment opportunities or new sectors were not created," he further said. "The proposed budget is insufficient for the education, health, and social sectors. As a result, these sectors will see little development."
Commenting that if the proposed budget gets passed, it will cause severe inflation, Rizvi said: "Lower class and middle class people will bear the brunt of the budget, as it is leaning heavily towards Value Added Tax (VAT) which will mostly affect people from these classes."
Even though the current government has focused on digital Bangladesh for years, the budget proposes placing taxes on the internet, Facebook, Google, YouTube, and other social platforms, he said.
"The budget forecasts a growth of 7.8%," Rizvi said. "However, specialists everywhere have said, under the current situation- with corruption, lack of foreign and local investment, lesser foreign remittance and insufficient employment opportunities- the growth will remain under 7%."
Rizvi said BNP completely rejects the proposed budget as it is against the public interest and will only serve to fatten the pockets of ruling party leaders and activists.