Hailing the national budget for fiscal year 2018-19 (FY20), the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) has urged the government to take necessary measures to ensure efficient and effective spending of the Annual Development Programme (ADP) funds for fulfilling the development goals.
The chamber appreciated the allocation of Taka 2,02,721 crore for the ADP for FY20, which is 17.18 percent higher than the original allocation for the current fiscal year (Taka 1,73,000 crore) and also 21.39 percent higher than the revised ADP (Taka 1,67,000 crore) of fiscal year 2018-19, reports BSS.“Bangladesh’s economy is progressing well, little behind its true potential. A higher allocation in the ADP is needed to fulfill our development goals,” opined MCCI in a post budget reaction on Friday.
The trade body applauded Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal for considering the national development goals and vision while preparing the budget and proposing measures to uphold the country’s graduation to a middle-income country by 2021, boosting economic growth, collecting revenue, reducing poverty, providing necessary protection to local industries, and widening the prevailing safety net for deserving groups for improving the economic condition of the people. It said there is no alternative without raising the level of private investment including foreign direct investment (FDI), if Bangladesh wants to reach the status of middle-income country by 2021.
MCCI appreciated the 8.13 per cent growth in GDP against targeted 8 per cent in FY19 and the target of 8.2 per cent in the upcoming fiscal year. The trade body thanked the finance minister for giving proper focus on education and training, infrastructure development, and planned urbanization of village as per the election manifesto of the government, to develop all necessary facilities at village level.
MCCI also felt that attaining the increased NBR tax revenue target of Tk.3,25,600 crore, which is 16.29 per cent higher than the revised budget (2,80,000 crore) of FY~9, will be a major challenge.
MCCI said the finance minister gave proper attention in implementing the ongoing mega projects such as Padma Bridge and Metro Rail, in scheduled time. “The significant budget allocations made for mega projects, transport, human resource development including education, rural development, healthcare, local government, women and youth to provide start-up capital, social safety net, power and energy are praiseworthy,” it added.
The trade body said the government has also taken some special measures (one stop service, ease of doing business indicator, economic zones) for investors and exporters in the budget for improving with ease of doing business ranking and encouraging investment.MCCI appreciated all these measures and said that the benefits of these measures will only be felt if they are implemented in a timely and effective manner.
MCCI appreciated the government’s desire to rejuvenate the stock market, but showed their concern whether imposition of 15 percent tax on stock dividend will help it to achieve this. “This may discourage listed companies in capital creation and reinvestment.”
The trade body also appreciated the creation of Taka 100 crore funds for budding entrepreneurs. “This will address youth unemployment to an extent,” it opined.