Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith has said the next national budget will be placed in parliament on June 7 and its size will be Tk4,60,000 crore.
He made the remark during a meeting with the Board of Directors of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), led by its President Abul Kasem Khan, at his office in Dhaka on Monday.
“In the next budget, the government will give priority to education, health, sanitation, power, and the energy and infrastructure sector,” Muhith stated.
Muhith also said the government would reconsider the rate of government savings in the upcoming budget.
He said corruption in government offices would come down to a minimum level within five to ten years. “The present government has been successfully alleviating poverty, and is working hard to expand the social safety net.”
Regarding non-performing loans (NPL), the finance minister said: “The present NPL is not very high. I think it is at a tolerable level.”
He said the government would consider reducing corporate tax rates. “RMG export is now worth about $35 billion, and this sector will dominate the export sector in the long run as well. However, leather is a potent sector which is also doing well in the export market,” he added.
The DCCI president placed some budget proposals to the minister and proposed reforming business friendly policies, reducing infrastructural challenges, and ensuring a business-friendly tax policy.
Abul said: “The investment to GDP ratio needs to be increased from its present position of only 29% to nearly 35% in order to accelerate development.
“Strengthening BAPEX to explore new offshore and onshore gas fields should be considered a priority. LNG is a short term solution for meeting the energy need, and the field 0must be made competitive for the industry and businesses to remain competitive,” he added.
He proposed forming a body called National Infrastructure Development and Monitoring Advisory Authority to accelerate the implementation of large infrastructure projects.
DCCI Senior Vice President Kamrul Islam, Vice President Riyadh Hossain, Directors Andaleeb Hassan, Hossain A Sikder, Humayun Rashid, KMN Manjurul Hoque, Mamun Akbar, Alauddin Malik, Engr Al Amin, Mohammad Bashir Uddin, Nuher Latif Khan, SM Zillur Rahman, and Waqar Ahmed Chowdhury were also present during the meeting.