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Budget implementation challenging

Take stern action against bank robbers: FBCCI

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Special Correspondent :
The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) on Saturday demanded stern action against the people who misappropriated funds from banks through shady loans.
The apex trade body also called upon the government to bring down the interest rate to single digit to encourage private sector investment.
"Those who were responsible for misappropriating funds from the country's banking sector should be brought to book. We want their strict punishment for the bank robbery," FBCCI president Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said while talking at the post-budget press conference at the Federation Bhaban in the capital on Saturday.
Giving reaction on the proposed budget, the FBCCI leader said the private sector is capable enough to channel necessary investment in line with budgetary targets. For that, all barriers to investment need to be removed.
Mohiuddin identified high rates on bank loans as key barrier on the way to boosting private sector investment.
"Capital market and banks usually provide the much needed capital to private sector entrepreneurs. But the prevailing interest rate regime is discouraging them. Defaults on loan payments are on the rise because of high interest rates," he said, adding, "We want conducive investment climate and bank loans at single digit interest rate to make businesses viable."
He, however, expressed concern over the government's Tk42,000 crore bank borrowing to finance the next fiscal's budget, saying the growing dependency on the banks might impede free flow of credit to productive sectors and higher manufacturing growth.
When asked, Mohiuddin said the government would face a daunting challenge to implement the proposed budget for fiscal year 2018-19 if it fails to enhance capacity and ensure transparency and accountability of public agencies. 
"Budget implementation remains a major concern since the government has been presenting expansionary budget. We need to revise the proposed national budget every year due to poor implementation capacity of the public agencies. The government should increase capacity and ensure accountability of public agencies to achieve the next fiscal's budgetary targets," FBCCI President Md Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said. 
Mohiuddin also laid emphasis on timely and quality execution of development projects to encourage both local and foreign investment.
The FBCCI president also appreciated the various steps in the budget proposals to ensure social security.
He also appreciated budgetary proposals of 2.5 percent cut of corporate tax on the banks and other financial institutions and duty cuts on import of raw materials for the steel industry and pharmaceutical industry.
FBCCI Senior Vice-president Sheikh Fazle Fahim, Vice-president Md Muntakim Ashraf and other directors of the federation were present at the briefing.

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