Thursday, 18 August, 2022

Govt to cut cost of ministries, save Tk 35bn in FY2023

The government plans to cut spending on less important areas under different ministries and save around Tk 35 billion in the upcoming fiscal year 2022-23.

The saved amount will be spent to provide subsidies on energy and agricultural sectors as the government has adopted austerity measures amid emerging new realities.

The government identified 13 sectors under different ministries and divisions as “less important”, including house loans for government staff, honorium, special expenditure and grants given to different institutions.

In the context of raging inflation across the globe, the government mulls spending more money on subsidies in the fiscal year on energy, power, gas and fertiliser.

Primarily, the total subsidies for the upcoming FY2022-23 have been estimated at Tk 827.45 billion in the budget, which was Tk 668.25 billion in the outgoing fiscal year.

Finance Division feared that the estimated subsidy might not be enough and increase by 15 to 20 percent in the end as the budgetary projection has been made following the current global price levels.

In that scenario, the government will require more money to address the situation.

The government has, therefore, opted for taking austerity measures from the very beginning of the fiscal year, said the finance ministry officials.

Besides, it has a plan to defer low-priority projects, which are projected to contribute less in revenue generation.

The steps are being considered as part of the austerity measures and saving foreign currency, the strategies to contain raging inflation.

At the same time, increased funds will be supplied to those projects that will likely contribute a lot to the revenue earnings. The decisions will be executed from July, officials concerned said.

Apart from the mentioned areas, the low-priority sectors also include fees and charges, vehicle and equipment purchase, printing and stationery cost and special expenditure.

At a post-budget press conference, Finance Secretary Abdur Rouf Talukder also suggested that they had taken some austerity measures in the budget and some more steps would be taken from the month of July.

He spoke of controlling import of unnecessary luxury items and deferment of less important development projects.

The amount of donation the government gives to different institutions has been curtailed by Tk 19.95 billion to Tk 464.69 billion in next fiscal year from the current fiscal year’s Tk 484.64 billion.

The money allocation for vehicle purchase for the government officials has been slashed by Tk 1.35 billion to Tk 80.80 billion from Tk 82.15 billion, while vehicle equipment procurement budget has been lowered to Tk 22.38 billion from Tk 25.72 billion.

Printing and stationery budget has been trimmed down to Tk 24.03 billion from Tk 24.41 billion.

The amount of honourium given at training, seminars, workshops and foreign trips has been curtailed by Tk 2.33 billion to Tk 6.19 billion.

Allocation on special expenditure segment has dropped to Tk 14.75 billion from Tk 17.11 billion. Fees and charges have been slashed from Tk 15.53 billion to Tk 14.56 billion.