Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal today placed a Taka 5,68,000 crore national budget for fiscal year (FY21) at the Jatiya Sangsad with a target of attaining 8.2 percent GDP growth through continuing the momentum of the economy with all required economic activities after tackling the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Leader of the House and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina along with a number of selected lawmakers, invited by the concerned whips of the JS, joined the sitting.
The finance minister started delivering his budget speech at 03.03 pm, being asked by Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury. Most parts of his 130-page speech were presented through video and his speech lasted for about 45 minutes before the session was adjourned.
While placing the budget, the finance minister said in FY 2020-21, the size of the total expenditure or budget has been estimated at Tk. 5,68,000 crore, which is 17.9 percent of GDP.
“Total allocation for operating and other expenditures is estimated at Tk 3,62,855 crore, while the allocation for the annual development program (ADP) is Tk. 2,05,145 crore. ” he added.
The finance minister dubbed the proposed budget as “Economic Transition and Pathway to Progress”.
Regarding the current coronavirus crisis, Kamal said, “This is not the time to showcase our achievements. Rather it is time to steer the nation ahead having our people at our side and effectively tackling the crisis arising from the deadly attack of coronavirus through our pragmatic and efficient plans. I sincerely thank our Hon’ble Prime Minister for her unrelenting efforts to continue this task.”
While concluding his budget speech, he said, “At this criticial juncture in the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, our topmost priority is to save people from being infected by the virus. At the same time, it is incumbent on us to maintain the momentum of the economy to ensure the provision of food and clothing for the people.”
In the current situation, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina herself is reaching out to all segments of the population to keep their trust and morale high and unwavered, he added.
“She (PM) firmly believes that life moves on, does not stop in its course. This budget, formulated at the directives of Hon’ble Prime Minister, will be our tool as we move towards overcoming economic recession and establishing the foundation for desired economic success in the future in continuation of past development,” Kamal said.
This is the country’s 49th budget and the 21st of the Awami League (AL) government in five terms while Tajuddin Ahmed presented the first budget as the finance minister of the post-independence Bangabandhu Government in 1972.
Kamal placed his second budget today as the country’s 12th finance minister after he was entrusted with the portfolio in the third consecutive term of AL government.
AMA Muhith and M Saifur Rahman presented the highest 12 budgets each at different terms of their respective governments.
Muhith, however, was the lone finance minister to place budgets for 10 consecutive fiscals since 2009 until he went on retirement after the end of last parliament.
Earlier on the day, the cabinet in a special meeting, with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair in the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban cabinet room, approved the proposed budget for the coming financial year.