The new allocation is nearly Tk3,000 crore more than that in the outgoing fiscal year
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has proposed a Tk19,264 crore budget for the Ministry of Food for the 2020-21 fiscal year - Tk2,990 crore higher than that in the outgoing fiscal year.
The allocation for the Food Ministry is 3.39% of the total Tk568,000 crore proposed budget for FY2020-21 placed by the finance minister in parliament on Thursday.
In the revised budget for the current fiscal year, the allocation for the food ministry is Tk16,274crore - 3.24% of the total budget.
Dr Mosammat Nazmanara Khanum told Dhaka Tribune: “This year, the situation is different. The allocation in the proposed budget is higher than that of the revised budget of the current fiscal year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”
In his budget speech, the finance minister said: “The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has created risks for the production, imports, exports, supply and distribution of food grain and cereals. The government is quite aware of the situation, and has taken all possible measures to ensure adequate food stock in the country.
“It has procured 798,000 metric tonnes from this year’s Aman harvests. Besides, the government has set the target of procuring 800,000 metric tonnes of paddy and 1,150,000 metric tonnes of rice from this year’s Boro harvests, which is twice the last year’s target. The government will take adequate measures to meet this procurement target, and thus ensure food security in the country,” he added.
“Different support activities, such as providing food assistance to people in need, Pro-Food Progam, and open market sales of rice are continuing to tackle the impact of the coronavirus. Moreover, to ensure food security, the government has taken steps to increase the food storage capacity” the minister further said.