PM places budget on behalf of finance minister

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Dhaka, June 13: The country on Thursday witnessed an unprecedented event with the Prime Minister unveiling the national budget on finance minister’s behalf as it appeared difficult for the later to present the annual fiscal document due to sickness.In line with the parliamentary practice, finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal began delivering her budget speech in Jatiya Sangsad at 3:07 but the sickness largely due to his overnight cataract surgery visibly exposed him to a difficult situation to read out the document, BSS reports.

Kamal at one stage proposed the premier to deliver the rest of his written speech on his behalf while Speaker Shirin Sharmin Choudhury endorsed the proposal and requested her to present the document.

Sheikh Hasina accepted the proposal but pointed out that she was suffering from cold and recovering from eye surgery as well.

“Yet in this situation, I want to read out the remaining part of the budget speech, if I get permission,” she said.

At one stage of reading out the written speech, the prime minister smiled as the issue of her appreciation came up and said “the honourable Speaker, however, I’m reading it out as I am delivering the finance minister’s speech”.

This is the country’s 48th national budget and 20th by the Awami League government in its five terms since the 1971 independence.