Sunday, August 18, 2019 | ePaper

A pro-people budget is a need of time

  • Print
FORMER Finance Minister AMA Muhith pointed out three major challenges; increasing the size of the national budget, realising more revenue, and improving the banking sector for his successor AHM Kamal who is going to unveil his first budget today in the Parliament. The octogenarian after presenting record number 12 budgets with leaving the economy in disorder expressed the opinion in an interview with a local newspaper. From the economic conundrum in share market, collapsed banking sector, debacle in remittance inflow, unfriendly business environment, shaky export-import, widespread corruption and development bubble --- when this is the overall situation of the economic sector; it will be really hard for the new minister to find out an escape route. Nevertheless, Muhith's suggestions are worthy.
Muhith said the size of the budget was low in relation to the gross domestic product because Bangladesh's tax-to-GDP ratio was the lowest in South Asia. During his tenure, the tax-to-GDP ratio rose from 9 per cent to 11 per cent, but it has to be raised to 15 per cent. Income tax accounts for only 30 to 35 per cent of the total revenue earned that should be 50 per cent. If it doesn't happen, efforts should be made to bring at least one crore people under the tax net within the next five years. Muhith said earnings from value-added tax (VAT) and Customs would increase automatically, and gave his support to multiple slabs of VAT. The bureaucrat-turned-politician said improving the condition of the banking sector is another challenge for the current Finance Minister. If a bank fails, it will create a serious crisis in the economy.
Muhith admitted he awarded many undue favours to the banks, which are needed to be controlled. Despite awarding a license for opening banks on political consideration, Muhith now opted for merging banks citing the number is too big. Muhith suggested for abandoning state-owned factories and losing enterprises. Sometimes, a defeated soldier knows the strategy to win as he tried but failed. The failed minister's suggestions are the reflections of his experience and the government can honestly follow the path to drive out the economy from the trap. What's true is that, we want a people-friendly pragmatic budget, not a tax-burdened one. A budget can't be a guideline to misuse hard-earned income of the common people.  


More News For this Category

Ensure basic rights of the domestic helps

POLICE recovered the body of a domestic help Riya Akhtar, 14, from Dhanmondi in the capital on Friday. The girl died after falling from the 9th floor of a 10

Jugglery of growth figures failed to create jobs

BANGLADESH'S economic growth though mesmerising, it has been proved over the past decade that jobs could not be created proportionately for the youths keeping adjustment with the growth. Besides, female

Political Battle

Martin Kettle :Throughout his nine years in Conservative-led British Cabinets, Philip Hammond was regularly compared to AA Milne's Eeyore. But what the lugubrious former chancellor did today was almost Tiggerish.

Social Media

Nidhal Guessoum :Last week, I attended a research and innovation summit in Jordan, which was organised by the youth-led PHI Science Institute with support from a number of Jordanian and

Rohingya repatriation process should not be failed

BANGLADESH and Myanmar are set to start a repatriation process on August 22 of the most persecuted Rohingyas who fled violence-torn Rakhine State in 2017. The move follows Prime

Clashes among groups of govt followers on national mourning day

NEWSPAPERS reported that at least 22 people, including former Awami League lawmaker of Nilphamari-3 and upazila unit AL vice-president Golam Mustafa, were injured in a clash between two rival

Tragic August

Tragic August

Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed :Bangabandhu is the architect of independent Bangladesh. He had the towering courage and personality. Bangabandhu was a real epitome of courage, both in the physical

Brexit Storm

Brexit Storm

Rafael Behr :When boxers go into a clinch it looks more like a tender embrace than a fight. The same is true of the clash between Labour and the

Destroying biodiversity and its possible dangerous impact on human existence

BIODIVERSITY in Moulvibazar's Lathitila has been facing serious threat as settlers continue clearing forest areas for fruit cultivation and fish farming. According to newspaper reports, the vegetation at 5631.4 acres

Strict implementation of law is essential to save the arable land

The rapid declination of arable land for the expansion of homestead and use of topsoil for brick manufacturing has become a major concern nowadays. If the government fails to