Dhaka, June 08: Terming the proposed national budget for the next fiscal year (FY19) as implementable, Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith on Friday said that whatever targets they have set in the proposed budget would be achievable.“Whenever we place a budget, then we definitely place it after a thorough thought that it will be implementable. This budget will be implementable,” he said replying to a question at a crowded post budget press conference held at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the city this afternoon.
Earlier on Thursday, the veteran minister placed a Taka 4,64,573 crore budget at Jatiya Sangsad for the next fiscal year setting a GDP growth target of 7.8 percent while containing the inflation rate at 5.6 percent.
Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu, PM’s Economic Affairs Adviser Dr Moshiur Rahman, PM’s Energy Adviser Dr Taqfiq E Elahi Chowdhury, Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir,
NBR Chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, GED Member of the Planning Commission Dr Shamsul Alam, Finance Division Secretary Mohammad Muslim Chowdhury, ERD Secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam spoke at the press conference while State Minister for Finance and Planning MA Mannan was present on the occasion.
The finance minister said shortfall while implementing the budget happens every year and this time the tendency of having shortfall has witnessed a downtrend.
“I hope that the shortfall in budget will further reduce in the next year ….so, whatever targets we have set would be achievable,”
Replying to another question, Muhith said that the interest rates on various savings certificates are not permanent and those are reviewed in every two to three years.
He said this time there has been a delay in this regard adding that a meeting is likely to be held in the next month to review the interest rates on various savings tools.
Asked about the slashing of the corporate tax rate by 2.5 percent, Muhith said that 40 percent corporate tax rate is very rare in the world adding that this time the corporate tax rate has been reduced in a very planned way as this was done not all on a sudden, even the matter was discussed with the prime minister.
The finance minister termed his each and every budget as ‘election budget’ saying that being an important member of the ruling party, he has to deliver such budget which is being liked by the countrymen. “So, this budget is not for the election year, rather like other years,”
The minister also claimed that he has been able to keep up the promise of not imposing any new tax in the proposed budget.
Muhith, however, expressed his serious objection about the reports of some media outlets that this budget is bogus ‘Bhua’. “What is the meaning of ‘Bhua’? How come a budget can be bogus? No one, except those who are fools and have zero patriotism, can term a budget bogus.”