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Mixed reactions from political parties over proposed budget

  • Published at 11:37 pm June 13th, 2019
Screenshot of Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal presenting the national budget for 2019-20 fiscal year at parliament on Thursday, June 13, 2019

Awami League Relief and Social Welfare Affairs Secretary Sujit Roy Nandi described the proposed budget as the “greatest budget in the history of Bangladesh

Leaders of political parties in Bangladesh have given mixed reactions over the proposed national budget for FY2019-20 on Thursday evening, with mainly members and allies of ruling Awami League describing it as “pro-people,” while others claim it may increase the disparity between the rich and the poor.

 Awami League Relief and Social Welfare Affairs Secretary Sujit Roy Nandi described the proposed budget as the “greatest budget in the history of Bangladesh,” and expressed hope that it may boost the country’s development processes.

“The budget for FY2019-20 is a pro-people budget,” he said, adding that the GDP growth rate has been projected at a promising 8.2%.

Representatives of the Awami League-led 14-party alliance also welcomed the proposed budget.

Awami League presidium member and 14-party alliance spokesperson Mohammad Nasim said: “Villages will soon gain access to modern facilities that are available in cities. The budget has been proposed in order to boost development.”

On the other hand, BNP Standing Committee Member Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury said the projected Tk145,380 crore deficit in the proposed budget is cause for major concern.

“We, the people, will suffer because of the budget deficit.  The government will make up the deficit by collecting money from the people, or by hiking the price of electricity and gas,” the BNP leader claimed.

Zaker Party Chairman Pirzada Alhaj Khwaja Mostafa Amir Faisal Mujaddedi described the proposed budget as “challenging.”

“This budget is the largest in our country’s history, and it comes with multifarious challenges,” he said.

The Zaker Party chairman praised measures taken to expand the social security net, include more educational institutions in the MPO list, and ensure insurance for expatriates. However, he called for caution in endeavours to raise the number of taxpayers to 10 million, and urged for transparency in the reorganized VAT system. 

He also said the government must be careful and active in materializing the goals set for revenue earnings from the very beginning, in order to meet the estimated expenditure in such a large-scale budget. 

Furthermore, the Zaker Party chairman said he hoped the proposed budget would inspire all citizens of the country to participate in development processes.

Biplobi Workers Party President Saiful Huq claimed the budget does not provide the people with hope, and would increase the gap between the rich and the poor.

“The proposed budget is not acceptable for most of the people in the country,” he said. 

The Biplobi Workers Party president also echoed BNP Standing Committee Member Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury in saying that the increase in expenditure in the proposed budget is a cause for worry.

Gono Forum General Secretary Reza Kibria said the budget will increase inequality in the country.

“This budget will help a small and privileged group of people. The budget fails to recognize serious dangers to the economy and micro economy, particularly the problems of the banking sector,” he added.  

Islami Andolon Bangladesh Ameer Syed Rezaul Karim described the budget as “the allocation of corruption.”

 “A loan-based budget will not help the people and it will not bring any welfare for the nation,” he said.