Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on Friday urged the government to introduce a six-month special interim budget in a bid to overcome the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“There is no benefit of the conventional budget unless the coronavirus situation is checked. There should be a target of preparing an interim budget for the next six months because no goal of the national budget will be achieved due to the coronavirus,” said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.The BNP leader made the statement while addressing a press conference on the upcoming national budget for the fiscal year 2021-22 at the party chairperson’s Gulshan office in the capital.
"This year's budget should be a life-saving budget and a risk management budget to face the risk of the pandemic. It should be the budget for checking the coronavirus and overcoming the pandemic,” he said.
Fakhrul further said the government should stay away from the conventional budgetary system and introduce the interim budget in light of the three-year recovery plan.
The government has given a traditional unimplementable budget for 2020-21 fiscal year but failed to fulfill any target in collecting revenue, ensuring development and implanting social safety net programmes so far, he said.
He said the main objective of the interim budget should be ensuring public health care and reducing economic problems of the people affected by the coronavirus situation. "Supportive policies will be needed to bring the damaged economy back to normalcy," he added.
The BNP secretary general also put forward a 20-point proposal which should be implemented on a priority basis for reducing people’s suffering and strengthening the country’s economy.He said the government has kept the option to whiten black money in the upcoming budget to legalise ‘plundering’ state money.
Mirza Fakhrul said despite announcing large scale budgets and Annual Development Plans (ADP) year after year, the government has failed to properly utilise the allocated money.
"In the current financial year (2020-21), only 49.9 percent ADP has been implemented. Tk106542 crore will have to be spent in 2 months. What is the meaning of this budget if the ministry is not able to spend the allocation?" he said.
The national budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year is scheduled to be placed in the parliament on June 3 and the size of the budget will be around Tk 600,000 crore, according to a source of the finance ministry.
Earlier in 2020, BNP had proposed a midterm budget structure with a three-year recovery plan to rescue the economy impacted by the pandemic.