a year ago

Coordination Council meets tomorrow

Next budget size likely Tk 7.5t

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With sights set on the upcoming general election, the government may target a larger annual budget for the next fiscal year as a coordination council on fiscal and monetary matters, and currency exchange sits Tuesday.

Officials said the meeting might set a preliminary size of the budget for fiscal year 2023-24 at around Tk 7.5 trillion, up from Tk 6.78-trillion outlay of the present budget.

Also, the committee, headed by Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal is likely to set gross domestic product (GDP) growth target at 7.0 per cent, little lower than the current fiscal year's target.

Sources say the government wants to keep the rate of inflation around 7.5 per cent in the next fiscal year as people involved with budget preparation think that the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine will end shortly.

Consumer prices will come down gradually in the international and domestic markets when the war ends, thus the rate of inflation will also go down, they hope, in reflection of government's view about a gradual reflation in the economy.

Since July this year, the rate of inflation remained very high, between 7.48 per cent and 9.52 per cent, pushing the fixed-income group of people to the streets to buy essential commodities sold at subsidised rates.

A senior finance ministry official says, "The next budget is government's election-year budget, so various issues will be taken into consideration in its preparation level."

Budget officials will put forward a number of facts and figures for consideration before the committee, which mainly be chosen by the finance minister, he adds.

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