The government needs to spend money for supporting the country's economic growth, the finance minister said Tuesday.
"How the economy will run unless money is spent," AHM Mustafa Kamal posed the question in justifying pursuance of a moderately expansionary policy so far despite suggestions for a contractionary stance in the wake of the global crisis.
Although pressure was there to follow contractionary policy amid the ongoing global financial crunch, the government adopted prudent policies to supply resources to facilitate economic growth, he noted.
Mr Kamal made the observations at a virtually held pre-budget meeting with editors and senior journalists of different media outlets.
Editor of The Financial Express (FE) Shamsul Huq Zahid, Director and Head of News of Channel i Shykh Siraj, Editor of Daily Our Time Nayeemul Islam Khan, and editor of Bangladesh Pratidin Naem Nizam attended the event, among others.
At the meeting the editors described the crises the Bangladesh's newspaper industry presently facing and sought finance minister's intervention to save the situation.
Mr Zahid said the government is going to prepare a larger budget for the next fiscal year with subsidy set to cross Tk 1.0 trillion.
Since the sale of savings instruments has been on a downturn, the government will have to borrow excessively from the banking sector to meet its increased budgetary spending.
"So, how the government will manage theses issues in the next budget?"He questioned.
Mr Zahid said the loan defaulters were offered enough facilities which now need to be put to an end, including the recurrence of scope for rescheduling loans.
He suggested lowering the fuel-oil prices in the domestic market in line with the global price reduction, to lessen inflationary pressure on the people.
Mr Siraj drew attention of the minister to the spending of corporate social responsibility (CSR) fund created by realising money from 12 banks which made excessive profit during the pandemic period by 'immoral' means.
Responding to his question central bank governor Abdur Rouf Talukder said the banks must provide loans directly to the farmers from that fund. "Upon their failure to do so, the unutilised funds would be brought back from them and be utilised for same purpose." He said the CSR money in question will be used in four specific areas in agriculture.
However, the finance minister expressed reservations about the money transferred to the CSR fund, saying that banks' had earned that money as profit.