2 years ago

Jatiya Party terms budget ‘impractical’

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Jatiya Party, the main opposition in parliament, has rejected the budget proposed for the FY22, calling it ‘fictional and impractical.’

“The budget presented for 2021-22 is prepared without proper information and can’t be implemented,” said Chairman GM Quader on Thursday.

“The measures to fill the huge deficit mentioned in the budget are impractical. The budget needs to be overhauled.”

The health sector got a nominal raise while the allocation for the social safety net was really low in comparison to the outgoing budget. Also, disaster management had “very little” allocation, he said.

On Thursday, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal rolled out a Tk 6.0 trillion budget with the aim to breathe new life into a flagging economy following a year of tumult induced by the coronavirus pandemic, according to bdnews24.com.

Continuing with the theme of safeguarding lives and livelihoods amid the pandemic, Kamal's third national budget of Tk 6.04 trillion, about 17.4 per cent of the GDP, is about 12 per cent higher than the revised outlay for the outgoing fiscal year. And it is a 6.34 per cent increase from the original spending plan for the outgoing year.

Quader continued: “The finance minister has designed the budget out of his whims. It needs such an overhaul that it’ll lose its original form. They have increased the expenditure, which is necessary I agree, but they faltered in planning the ways of revenue earning.

“The government couldn’t collect even 60 per cent of its targeted revenue in 10 months of the current fiscal year. They have no idea how much they can collect in the next two months,” he remarked.

The proposed budget has a 6.2 per cent deficit in it, which is “unprecedented”, according to Quader. The loopholes in budgetary allocation will be evident when one looks for the details, he said.

“No direction is given in the budget to ensure financial assistance for those who became unemployed during the coronavirus pandemic, or on how to create employment for them. People expected a big allocation for the health sector but the proposed budget has a nominal raise for it. This could be called a routine raise and insufficient to address any crisis.”

Sources to fill up the deficit mentioned in the budget, including foreign loan, low-interest loan and earnings from different sectors are completely uncertain, Quader said.

“There’s no guarantee if the government can achieve the target under the changed economic scenario in future. There could be trouble in both revenue earning and financing according to the budget. Also, the priorities mentioned by the government are not found in papers.”

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