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Dhaka Tribune

Muhith: MPs will continue to get block allocation

Update : 15 May 2014, 06:48 PM

Finance Minister AMA Muhith has taken back the remark that the upcoming budget will not allocate local development funds to the lawmakers.

Yesterday, in a pre-budget meeting, the chairmen of four parliamentary standing committees strongly opposed the earlier position.

In another pre-budget meeting last week, Muhith said funds for local development in the parliamentary constituencies would be channeled through the Local Government and Engineering Department (LGED), instead of the respective lawmakers of those areas.

The chairmen of the parliamentary bodies, who are all lawmakers, said the LGED was plagued with corruption and hence should not be trusted with the funds.

“The bock allocations for each electoral constituency will remain. No fresh allocation is needed for building highways, but funds are needed for building roads in the rural areas,” the minister said in yesterday’s meeting.

In FY2009-10, the Awami League-led governmentapportioned Tk15 crore as block allocation from the budget to each of the MPs.

The funds were meant for carrying out infrastructural development work such as building small roads, bridges and culverts in each of the constituencies.

Confessing that the LGED had been beset with corruption, the minister said: “We have to admit that the LGED has a lot of contribution to rural development... We can think of reformation for improving its activities.”

Refuting the criticism that he always made ambitious budgets, Muhith said: “I always come up with ambitious budgetsbecause the 96% rate of implementation is better than any other previous time.”

He said the new budget would prioritise human resource development for exporting more skilled manpower and earning more remittance.   

The government might also offer incentives to the industries in the form of tax rebates to encourage them to adopt green technologies, the minister said.

The heads on the parliamentary watchdogs on the Planning and Finance ministries, and the public accounts and public undertakings attended the meeting.

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