International Business Forum Bangladesh (IBFB) said the private sector investment target in the proposed budget is highly ambitious.
It said the private sector investment is projected in the budget to increase to 25.3 percent of GDP in FY 2022-23, which is almost double the current 12.7 percent.
“The present figure of private sector investment is 12.7 percent of GDP. We found in the budget that the figure will increase to 25.3 percent by end of this fiscal year 2022-23. The projection is fully ambitious as the private investment takes 5-year time to increase 1 percent of GDP,” IBFB President Humayun Rashid told a post-budget press conference at the Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) auditorium in Dhaka of Monday.
He commented that a couple of projections in the budget are challenging as the economic growth has been scaled down to 5.2 percent from 8.2 percent due to the pandemic shocks.
IBFB president said the high growth projection will create wrong perceptions about Bangladesh in global arena as most of the countries reconsider their growth targets.
“Such projections may create negative impacts on availing foreign funds to tackle the pandemic shocks. We should focus on lives and livelihoods of the people at this moment rather than setting ambitious targets,” Humayun Rashid.
IBFB expressed concerns about the practice of good governance in health, social safety net and agriculture sector due to the lack of capacity to use the budget. The trade body, however, appreciated the fiscal measures for all export-oriented industries including the readymade garment.
Following the other economic quarters, IBFB sharply criticised the proposal of amnesty for the money launderers by paying certain amount of tax.
“The provision of 7 percent tax to bring back the laundered money will discourage the regular tax payers. There should be a limited time for whitening the undisclosed money. There is a risk factor of good governance in the financial sector,” IBFB president said.
He also expressed surprises at the absence of a clear direction in the budget about banking sector reforms as the government in the FY2021-22 budget had hinted to form an independent commission in this regard.
National Board of Revenue (NBR) former chairman Muhammad Abdul Mazid, IBFB vice presidents MS Siddiqui, Lutfunnisa Saudia Khan, directors Ali Afzal, Tauhida Sultana and Md. Fakhruddin, former secretary Matiur Rahman, Novo Cargo managing director Syed Mustafizur Rahman and Protec Electronics managing director Utpal Kumar Das were also present on the occasion.