Dhaka, Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Political will is necessary to implement Tk 1,453.80 billion deficit budget

Political will is necessary to implement Tk 1,453.80 billion deficit budget

Several types of reactions coming in after the Finance Minister A H M Mustafa Kamal presented his first budget for the fiscal year 2019-20 on 13 June. The government has presented many arguments in favour of the budget. All parties, including opposition political parties, business associations, research organizations and

related groups are also reacting to this budget in their own views. And the general people, whom did not understand the meaning of such budgets, have started to feel positive and negative impact of a budget. But as a emerging country with full of potentiality like Bangladesh, should have minimum similarity of reaction to a national budget. Our dedicated economists have already been identified the main obstacles in building a sustainable and civic-friendly economic systems. To achieve this goal, our foremost need is to reflection of political will and consensus in budget papers.
The budget for 2019-20 fiscal year titled “Bangladesh on a Pathway to Prosperity. Time is Ours, Time for Bangladesh” is the largest ever budget with Tk 5,231.90 billion. The overall budget deficit will be Tk 1,453.80 billion. We know that there is a need to increase government expenditure in such countries like Bangladesh. Actually, the size of our budget is not very big. But in view of capacity of implementation, our budget is really big. As the size of our budget is increasing, the size of our implementation capacity is decreasing.
The pitiful predicament of the banking sector and the growing problems of loan default were admitted. The budget speech also mentioned possible measures to restore order to the financial sector. But the finance minister along with government policymakers themselves is well aware that how difficult it would be to curb these influential loan defaulters under the existing laws. To implement such changes, political will is imperative. The proposed budget have a reflection of the government’s commitment to ensure sustainable economic growth. There is a hope that implifying corporate taxation, reducing taxes and attracting more foreign investment through incentives to export will create new business opportunities and desired employment situation. Beside these, the importance of expanding the social security sector, the importance of reforming the agricultural sector and the infrastructural development should be appreciated. With technology like Blockchain, IOT and 5G, Bangladesh is being prepared for the future and the goal of achieving digital assisted growth is very encouraging.
However, there simply is no justification in hiking tax rates on mobile phone services and other related taxes. The lower income people would also be suffered by proposed price hiking of LPG, powder milk, sugar and edible oil. The authorities seem to reach out to these sectors simply because it is easy to collect revenue. But Awami League, a party of our great leader and Founder of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, should have come out from such a concept of economic policy when they presented their 11th budget.