'In the outgoing fiscal, only 38.67% of the total expenditure was spent in the development sector'
International Business Forum of Bangladesh (IBFB) has called for 45% allocation of the total budget in the development sector to accelerate economic growth of the country.
This was said during a post-budget reaction at a press briefing at National Press Club in the capital on Thursday.
IBFB President and Energypac Power Generation Ltd MD and CEO Humayun Rashid presided over the program.
In a written statement, the forum highlighted various aspects of the budget for the fiscal year 2019-20.
Humayun said: “The development expenditure has been estimated to be Tk211,683 crore, which is about 22% more than the revised development budget of the outgoing 2018-19 fiscal year.”
“In the current development budget, the size of the annual development programme (ADP) is TkTk202,721 crore, which is about 7% of the projected gross domestic product (GDP) of Tk2,885,872 crore and 38.75% of the proposed budget outlay which should be at least 45% of the total budget," he said.
He also said: “In the outgoing fiscal, only 38.67% of the total expenditure was spent in the development sector.”
“If the budget allocation in the development sector is not increased, the government has to spend a huge amount of money in the non-productive sectors,” Humayun added.
Besides, the IBFB president urged the government for maximum implementation of the national budget.
“According to previous budgets implementation rate, our ability to implement the budget is not satisfactory,” observed Humayun.
“In FY 2016-17, India and Vietnam implemented 100% of their budgets, while Bangladesh implemented only 79.12% of its budget. But in the current fiscal, the rate is only 44.41% till March,” he mentioned.
He also expressed concern over the increasing poverty rate in the northern districts of Rangpur, Dinajpur, Gaibandha, and Lalmonirhat.
He further urged the government to provide incentives for the development of under developed districts as well as minority people of the country.
He also suggested that the government should reduce indirect taxes and increase direct taxes because the former impose burden on the poor.
“In the upcoming budget low income people would be pressurized because of not increasing tax-free income limit.
“Government should increase the tax-free income limit to at least Tk3 lakh and more practical steps should be taken to increase the number of taxpayers,” Humayun added.
IBFB former president and Runner Group Chairman Hafizur Rahman Khan and IBFB Director Dr Md Mozibur Rahman also spoke at the event, among others.