Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir speaks at a press conference on the budget at BNP chairperson's Gulshan office in the city yesterday. -Mostafizur Rahman
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir in a post-budget press conference termed the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2019-2020 as highly ambitious.
He said, "The finance minister A H M Mustafa Kamal has set himself on the race of setting big budgets. "People will not accept this budget as it failed to meet the aspiration of the common people". Fakhrul said, people have no interest in the size of budget as the allocation in every budget is reduced at the end of every year.
He added, despite the shortcomings in revenue collection this fiscal, the government is pinning its hopes on the National Board of Revenue to match a huge revenue target for the next year.Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Thursday afternoon has presented Tk 523,190 crore budget for the fiscal year of 2019-20.
Total allocation for operating and other expenditures is Tk 320,469 crore, and allocation for the annual development programme is Tk 202,721 crore. The BNP organised the briefing at party chairperson's Gulshan office in capital Dhaka to place their official reaction to the government's financial plans for the coming fiscal year.
Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said the proposed national budget for fiscal year 2019-20 will facilitate only a section of people instead of fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of common people.He said as the government has kept Tk 145,380 crore deficit in the proposed budget, it will have a negative impact on people's life as the money will ultimately be realized from them.
The budget failed to pay adequate attention to health, education and other welfare activities of the state as the percentages of allocation were poor in these sectors. Mr Alamgir said the current 'unelected' government and Parliament have no moral right to present any budget for the nation.
"The budget they presented was formulated only to give a section of people all the facilities. The budget management is now confined to a quarter." He said adding that that people's hopes and aspirations were not reflected in the last general election. "The desires of the people of Bangladesh will also not be fulfilled through the new budget." BNP Secretary General Mr Alamgir said .
Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir feared that the government will fill up the huge amount of budget deficit by collecting money from people through raising the tariffs of the utility services.
He said the country's macro economy which was on good track over the last 20 years is now getting affected for lack of good governance, investment and some other reasons. "Our economy is deviating from its correct course." he said.
He said that Bangladesh's economy has now turned into 'loan-dependent' one. "It's very dangerous that we're going to be caught in a death trap. We'll face serious hurdle to repay the loan in the days to come." The ruling elite has targeted a 8.2 percent GDP growth in the budget, he said adding it is unrealistic as different organizations are raising questions about the country's GDP growth.
"A government which lacks accountability can only set such a GDP growth target." Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir asked the reasons behind the bad condition of the capital markets, rise in unemployment rate and lack of investment if the country's GDP growth is really high.
"How can GDP growth accelerate without investment amid liquidity crisis faced by the banks?" the BNP Secretary General asked.He said that BNP will create public opinion on the budget and will move for establishing the rights of the people that had been snatched away by the ruling party one day before the last general election, to restore democracy properly. He said that the power mongers and members of oligarchy and ransacked the national economy.
The conference was attended among others by former Prime Minister Barrister Moudud Ahmed, Dr Khandker Mosharrof Hossain, Mirza Abbas, Gooweswar Roy, Dr Moyeen Khan, Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury.
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