SANGSAD BHABAN, June 18, 2017 (BSS) - Lawmakers participating in the general discussions on national budget in the parliament today said the proposed budget for fiscal 2017-18 would not only boost the economy but also take the country forward and build the Sonar Bangla dreamt by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
At the same time, they said the proposed mega budget also would play a significant role by maintaining the continuity of development and help transform the country into a developed one by 2041.
Taking part in the general budget discussion for eighth day in the house, State Minister for Health and Family Welfare Jahid Malik said the proposed mega budget is 30 times higher than the budget placed in the parliament since after the liberation of Taka 786 crore as the country now has emerged as 35th economic power with the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Urging the finance minister to reconsider the 'excise duty' on the bank savings, the state minister said "We think that the pro-people Awami League must have to consider the newly proposed excise duty while the increasing excise duty would earn Taka 355 crore only."
Side by side, Malik suggested the finance minister to increase the tax base by bringing the registered people under VAT as only 13.50 lakh people are now giving VAT while the number of registered people are 30-40 lakh.
Terming the budget allocation for education as realistic, he said the government has taken a plan to construct 503 model schools for the development of the primary education, adding that the proposed budget has also kept the provision of school feeding and stipend to curb the drop out rate in the primary stage.
The state minister also urged the government to increase the allocation for the technical education as the developed countries are giving around 60 per cent allocation for enhancing the technical education while it is 10 per cent in Bangladesh which need to be increased.
The proposed budget has exempted 93 different live saving drugs from VAT, he said, adding that the budget did not impose any duty on the equipments used in drug industries and hospitals.
Deputy Minister for Environment and Forest Abdullah Al Islam Jacob hoped that not only a middle-income country by 2021, we would build a happy, prosperous, pollution-free and developed country under the leadership of Prime Minister.
Criticizing the BNP and its Chairperson for undermining the proposed budget, former commerce minister Colonel (retd) Faruque Khan said that Bangladesh was champion in corruption for three consecutive years during the regime of the BNP.
Even the budget implementation is really a challenge, Khan said, adding that the government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had implemented 95 per cent of the proposed budget every year, but budget was implemented only 80 per cent during the government led by the BNP.
Treasury bench members Farhad Hossain, Syeda Sayera Mohsin, Begum Amatul Kibria Keya Chowdhury, Kamal Ahmed Majumder
Begum Samila Akhter Tuhin, Yousuf Abdullah Harun, Khandaker Abdul Baten, Ali Azam, Kamrul Ashraf Khan, Begum Hosne Ara Lutfa Daliya' Begum Umme Razia Kajol and Jewel Areng, Jatiya Party lawmakers ABM Ruhul Amin Hawlader, Syed Abu Hossain Babla and Mohammad Noman and Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal lawmaker Begum Lutfa Taher also took part in the general discussion on national budget in the house.
Earlier, Finance Minister AMA Muhith on June 1 placed a Taka 4002.66 crore national budget for fiscal 2017-18 setting the GDP growth target at 7.4 per cent and detailing a set of programmes to transform the country into a role model of modern and welfare state by 2041.
The sitting of the house resumed today at 10.59 am with Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the Chair. The session adjourned at 4 pm and will resume at 12 noon tomorrow (Monday).