Published:  06:44 PM, 13 June 2019

PM’s rare move

PM’s rare move

A distressed Kamal fumbled through the start of his speech before being allowed by Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury to deliver his address sitting down.

But the minister continued to struggle throughout the session before Hasina took over from him to complete the address in a novel move.

The finance minister began presenting his maiden budget at 3pm on Thursday after attending a cabinet meeting on the country’s financial plans presided over by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

An official of the finance ministry said the minister went to parliament directly from Apollo Hospital on Thursday afternoon. But both the ministry and his family have remained tight-lipped about his health issues.

Kamal arrived at the Parliament Secretariat building at 1:20 pm and went straight into the cabinet meeting where the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year was approved. 

The finance minister was visibly unwell on his arrival in parliament, entering the meeting with the aid of officials of the secretariat.

Kamal attended parliament on Wednesday, a day before he is to present his maiden budget after an overnight stay at a hospital due to illness.

Kamal, in a dark suit, took his seat before the start of the parliamentary session chaired by Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury.

The 72-year-old went to Dhaka's Apollo Hospital for a medical check-up on Tuesday evening, having been suffering from a fever for a few days. He subsequently stayed at the hospital overnight on the advice of doctors.

In light of the growing speculation surrounding the Kamal’s health, Gazi Touhidul Islam, a spokesperson for the finance ministry, said in a statement on Tuesday, "Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal went to Apollo Hospital for a routine medical check-up. He is completely healthy."

"He will present the budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year before the parliament on Jun 13, 2019."

According to reports in the media, Kamal has been afflicted with dengue fever. One of the minister's political colleagues also appeared to confirm the news.


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