• July 14, 2024, 1:24 am
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New budget to take Bangladesh one step forward: PM

News Desk
News Desk
Update: Sunday, June 30, 2024

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said the proposed national budget for the FY 2024-25 was not an ambitious one, vowing to take Bangladesh one step forward through implementation of the new budget.

“I don’t consider the budget as an ambitious one. — we will take Bangladesh one step ahead through implementation of the budget,” she said while taking part in the discussion on the proposed budget in parliament.

This is the largest ever budget in size of Taka 7.97 lakh crore in the history of Bangladesh with Tk 2.65 lakh crore annual development programme (ADP) and 6.75 percent growth rate, she said.

Some people have called the budget as an ambitious one while some others as a deficit one, saying that “it is not possible to implement the budget and we have to reduce the growth target and ADP,” she said.

The Prime Minister said they have the capability to take the challenge of implementing the budget.

“Taking challenge is our job. We want to move on by taking challenge and we have been marching ahead by accepting the challenge,” she added.

Speaker Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury presided over the sitting of the third session of the 12th parliament.

On 6th of June 2024, Finance Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali placed Taka 7,970 billion national budget for 2024-25 in parliament, which is only 4.6 percent bigger than that of the current fiscal year.

 

Sheikh Hasina, also Leader of the House, said this budget is the first one of the fourth consecutive term of the Awami League government.

As many as 234 members of parliament including the opposition leader took part in the discussion over the budget and gave their valuable suggestions to implement it, she said.

The Prime Minister thanked all who discussed and criticised the budget in and outside the parliament.

She said her government has a specific target which they want to implement through the budget.

“It is true, it will not be possible to implement the budget cent percent,” she said.

The Prime Minister said they have given the budget of Tk 7.97 lakh crore which was only Tk 62,000 crore during the regime of BNP-Jamaat alliance.

“We have been able to reach such a position (to give the largest budget) as we have taken the challenge,” she said.

The Prime Minister said they have a target to change the fate of the people for which they have given the development budget.

“We have given allocation in the budget to continue the process of the country’s development. There is nothing to cut from it (ADP),” she said.

The Prime Minister said Bangladesh has reached a dignified position on the global stage due to her government’s measures to ensure the country’s overall development.

“We took loans and repaid it. We took development plans and implemented those and in this way changed the fortune of the masses,” she said.

The Prime Minister suggested those who did not see any development in the country to go to the villages to know how the changes have been brought in the lives of rural people.

In this regard, she said the North Bengal earlier witnessed monga (famine-like situation ) which has now vanished due to timely measures of her government.

“The people of Rangpur who did not take meals two times daily are eating rice four times,” she said.

The Prime Minister said the FY 2024-25 budget has focused on the measures of building a developed, prosperous and Smart Bangladesh by 2041 free from hunger and poverty as envisioned by the Father of the Nation.

“We have been able to go one step forward to implement the plans to transform Bangladesh into a developed, prosperous and smart country by 2041,” she said.

The budget has prioritized the 2024 election manifesto of the Awami League that is to change the fate of the countrymen by giving them a beautiful and improved life, she said.

“We belong to a political party. We never forget the election pledges of us to the nation as we always comply with those,” she said.

In her budget speech, the Prime Minister said they have started drives against corruption and no one will be spared.

“We have started drives against corruption, no one will be saved, whoever he or she is, whoever will indulge in corruption, we will not spare,” she said.

She said that the budget proposed to legalise undisclosed money with the aim to bring that money in the mainstream.

“The undisclosed money which was not disclosed due to various reasons needs to be taken to the mainstream of the economy. For that purpose, we have proposed to offer that amnesty,” she said.

She also said that Khaleda Zia, Saifur Rahman and Dr Kamal Hossain also availed of this kind of opportunity in the past.

“This kind of opportunity was given often in the past too,” she said.

Briefly describing the measures to contain the hike in inflation, Sheikh Hasina said interest rate of loan has been fixed considering its demand and supply and relations between banks and customers alongside taking measures to cut expenses in less important sectors.

“We will be able to control the inflation within the FY 2024-25 due to measures taken by us and the impact of our initiatives to this end will be visible soon. We hope to reduce the inflation to expected level,” she said.

The Prime Minister asked all to increase production and supply to check inflation.

She heavily came down on the critics of loan default and bad loan as they are out to mislead people to this end.

The size of GDP was only 102 billion US dollars in 2009 and the amount of bad loan was Tk 22000 crore which was 10.5 percent while the size of GDP stood at 460 billion US dollars in 2023 and the bad loan amount is 1.55 lakh US dollars which is 9.9 percent, she said.

“That means the amount of bad loan has decreased,” she said, adding that the critics are out to mislead the nation by citing the amount of total loan instead of the percentage of the loan.

“Don’t try to mislead the nation in such a way. This is very unfortunate,” she said.

The Prime Minister said her government has upgraded every force with modern and time-befitting equipment.

“We have developed every force including our armed forces not for conflict or war. They are our symbol of sovereignty and independence,” she said.

The Prime Minister said Bangladesh believes in friendship, not in war and successfully follows the foreign policy of the Father of the Nation – “Friendship to all, malice to none.”

Sheikh Hasina said her government is considering lifting subsidy in power and energy sector gradually. “Production cost has to be paid,” she said.

The Prime Minister said they have been working to ensure energy security.

For that reason, Taka 100 crore was allocated in the energy development fund in the proposed budget, she added.

She said they are taking measures to stockpile oil.

The Prime Minister said they are giving huge amount of subsidy in energy and power sector which needs to lift gradually.

“Why will we give subsidy in this sector?” she questioned.

The Prime Minister asked the authorities concerned to share load-shedding in the areas of rich people that include Gulshan, Banani and Baridhara.

“I have asked not to give load-shading in my villages. Give load-shading in the areas of rich people to make them realise that their lavish life with air conditioned cars and lift, doesn’t come anyway,” she said.

The Prime Minister said the capacity of power generation now stands at 30,000 MW while it will increase to 40,000 MW by 2030 and 60,000 MW by 2040.

The head of the government said Bangladesh will be a hub of development in the south and west Asia if the plans of the government in this regard are implemented.

The economy has become vibrant due to the overall development of communication across the country, she said.

“Our target is to connect to the Asian Highway and Trans-Asian Railway,” she said.

The Prime Minister said her government has made unprecedented development of Bangladesh in every sector that include education, health, agriculture, communication, power and energy, women empowerment, GDP growth, per capita income, socio-economic advancement, rural development, and alleviation of poverty in the last 15 years.

The journey towards the development was not so easy, she said.

“We have faced impediments time and again both locally and internationally. Our country will march ahead towards prosperity confronting all the odds,” she said.


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