Urges government not to put pressure on banks to meet budget deficit
The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) on Saturday said the proposed national budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year was pro-people and business-friendly and urged the government not to put pressure on banks to meet its budget deficit.
FBCCI President Sheikh Fazle Fahim said these at a press conference at the Federation Bhaban in Motijheel, Dhaka.
“We thank Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal for announcing such a pro-people and business-friendly budget,” Fahim said.
He said: “Measures taken for power and energy, and communication sectors in the proposed budget will accelerate investment, industrialization and employment generation. Public private partnership (PPP) will play a vital role in developing the country’s infrastructure”
Fahim thinks that if there is strong monitoring from the beginning, implementation of the proposed budget is an achievable goal.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal placed the national budget for FY2019-20 in parliament on Thursday. This is the first budget since the Awami League government took charge for the third consecutive term after the general election on December 30 last year.
Meanwhile, the apex body of businesspeople has urged the government not to put pressure on the banking sector to meet its projected budget deficit in the next fiscal year.
The FBCCI chief said that instead of depending so much on the banking sector, the budget deficit could be financed by utilizing other sources, such as foreign loans, infrastructure funds, bonds, and other sources.
Fahim said if the government took loans from banks, the country's entire banking sector would be affected.
The government has set a higher borrowing target from banks for FY2019-20, in order to finance the projected budget deficit of Tk145,380 crore.
According to the proposed budget statement, Tk47,363 crore out of the Tk77,363 crore to be financed from domestic sources will be borrowed from the banking system, while Tk27,000 crore will come from national savings schemes, and Tk3,000 crore from non-bank sources. In FY2018-19, the government had set a Tk42,029 crore borrowing target from banks.
The new FBCCI president welcomed initiatives taken to make bond market dynamic and to ensure discipline in financial sector.
Welcoming the new VAT law, he said it would bring comfort to the small businesspeople and urged the government to remain vigilant so that no complexity arose during implementation of the new VAT law.
“We urge the government and authorities concerned not to harass businesses during the implementation of the new VAT law," he said, adding, “We have no discord with NBR.”
Welcoming the black money whitening windows, he said, "We see positive things in the move as it will stop siphoning of money."
The FBCCI president also welcomed introducing a ‘crop insurance’ in order to save farmers from the financial losses caused by natural calamities.
He mentioned that the initiative of including nano technology, bio-technology, robotics, artificial intelligence, material science, internet of things, quantum computing, blockchain and other similar technologies in education system was a creative idea.
“The initiative will help the country prepare for fourth industrial revolution (4IR),” said Fahim.
He appreciated the government for taking initiatives for local industries, agriculture development, readymade garment and pharmaceutical sector.
The FBCCI president said that the government proposed to allocate Tk100 crore for creating new entrepreneurs ‘Start Up’ among the youth. The initiative will help creating employment.”
He also appreciated the government for planning to give 2% incentive on money remitted by expatriate Bangladeshis from the FY20 to mitigate the burden of increased expenses for sending remittances and to encourage bringing in foreign remittance through legal channels.