The Parliament on Monday passed the supplementary budget of Tk 15,166 crore for 2018-2019 fiscal to meet the additional expenditures under different ministries and divisions despite opposition from the Jatiya Party and BNP lawmakers.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on behalf of Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal placed the Appropriation (Supplementary) Bill, 2019 before the House with Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair.The House passed the bill by voice votes rejecting all the cut motions put forwarded by the opposition lawmakers. The government placed some 58 demands for getting the allocation of Tk 15,166.18 crore.
In the supplementary budget, the highest Tk 2,447 crore 88 lakh 23 thousand was allocated for the Election Commission while Tk 1604 crore 64 lakh 78 thousand was sanctioned for the Ministry of Defense.
Besides, the local government division got Tk 1542 crore 84 lakh 59 thousand, Tk 1276 crore 79 lakh 44 thousand for the power division and Tk 1182 crore 93 lakh 56 thousand earmarked for the Housing and Public Works Ministry.
In addition to this, Tk 972 crore 5 crore 87 thousand was sanctioned for the Secondary and Higher Education division, Tk 876 crore 16 lakh 11 thousand for the Ministry of Textile and Jute, Tk 677 crore 73 lakh 93 thousand for the Shipping Ministry, Tk 674 crore 71 lakh 34 thousand for the Security Service division Under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Tk 674 crore 33 lakh 47 thousand was given to the Public Security Division under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Tk 586 crore 64 lakh 90 thousand allocated for the Ministry of Water Resources, Tk 428 crore 4 lakh 7 thousand for the Economic Relations Division (ERD).
Tk 326 crore 58 lakh 46 thousand for the Religious Affairs Ministry, Tk 305 crore 43 lakh 3 thousand got the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, Tk 229 crore 68 lakh 40 thousand for the Public Administration Ministry, Tk 220 crore 97 lakh 77 thousand for the Industries Ministry, Tk 190 crore 50 lakh for the Ministry of Science and Technology, Tk 151 crore 67 lakh 35 thousand for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Taka 141 crore 86 lakh 37 thousand for the Statistics and Information Management Division.
Tk 69 crore 37 lakh 7 thousand allocated for the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry, Tk 59 crore 13 lakh 86 thousand for the Disaster Management and Relief Ministry, Tk 55 crore 29 lakh 43 thousand for the Technical and Madrasha education division, Tk 54 crore 12 lakh 69 thousand for the Law and Judicial Division,Tk 46 crore 93 lakh 34 thousand was allocated for the Bangladesh Public Service Commission (BPSC), Tk 57 crore 56 lakh 15 thousand for the Rural Development and Cooperative Division, Tk 21 crore 8 lakh 17 thousand for the Youth and Sports Ministry and Tk 5 crore 34 lakh 60 thousand for the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
As per the constitutional provision, the government needs to take permission from parliament for spending more than the allocation.
The government placed 35 demands for the approval of the additional spending. Of the demands, the House ran discussions on four demands—public security division, local government division, housing and public works ministry and expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment ministry while the rest demands were settled through direct voting.
Opposition lawmakers, including Fakhrul Imam, Kazi Feroz Rashid, Pir Fazlur Rahman, Harun Ur Rashid, Rustam Ali Farazi, Liakat Hossain Khoka, Rawshan Ara Mannan took part in the discussion on the cut motions.
The opposition lawmakers opposed the allocation of Tk 1,182 crore for the Housing and Public Works ministry.
They said the ministry plagued with corruption.
They asked the government not to allocate the additional amount this year.
Taking the floor, opposition lawmaker Farazi said the ministry should be made more transparent and accountable.
“Measures should be taken to free the ministry from corruption,” he said.
Fakhrul Imam said the money must be spent for carrying out the development activities. “But the amount should be spent in a transparent way,” he said.
Bangladesh Nationalist Party lawmaker Rashid said that the capital turned unlivable day by day but several hundred crore taka had been looted in the name of development.
“Measures should be taken to reduce corruption,” he said. In response, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on behalf SM Rezaul Karim, the premier bitterly criticised the BNP founder Ziaur Rahman for usurping office by breaching the constitution and military law.
Referring to a recent scam on pillows at Rooppur Nuclear Power plant, the premier said the official in-charge of the project was linked with the politics of the BNP.
Over the spread of corruption, the premier said corruption marked a sharp rise during the BNP-Jamaat regime.
Listing her government’s development activities, the premier said, “That’s why the additional allocation is not illogic.”
She requested the lawmakers to withdraw their objections.
The opposition lawmakers also opposed the allocation of the public security division as the division failed to curb crimes, including an incident of rape.
Taking the floor, Rashid said that the incident of rape marked a sharp rise recently but the ministry failed to address it.
In response, the home minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said that incidents of rape took place in every country.
“But we are bringing the rapists to book,” he said.