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Budget passed

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Parliament on Tuesday passed the Tk 2,95,100 crore national budget for FY 2015-'16, the second budget of the current Awami League government that came to power following the January-5, 2014 national election.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith moved the Appropriations Bill, 2015 seeking a budgetary allocation of Tk 415308,18,88,000 which was passed by voice vote.
Following the proposal mooted in the House by the Finance Ministry for parliamentary approval of appropriation of fund for meeting necessary development and non-development expenditures of the government, the ministers concerned placed justifications for the expenditures by their respective ministries through 56 demands for grant.
Earlier, parliament rejected by voice vote 523 cut-motions that stood in the name of opposition and independent members on 56 demands for grant for different ministries.A total of nine MPs from Jatiya Party and independent submitted their cut-motions on the budget.
They were allowed to participate in the discussion on Public Administration Ministry, Bank and Financial Institutions Division, Education Ministry, Health Ministry, Industries Ministry, Liberation War Affairs Ministry and Anti-Corruption Commission.
Later, Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury applied guillotine to quicken the process of passing the demands for grant for different ministries without giving the lunch break.
Opposition and independent MPs were present at the House when the Appropriation Bill was passed in parliament and they did not raise any voice against passing of the bill.
Muhith on June 4 placed in parliament the Tk 2,95,100 crore national budget for the next fiscal year (2015-16) eying a 7 percent GDP growth rate. The veteran Finance Minister placed the budget at a time when the country is moving towards the 7th Five Year Plan (FY16-FY20) and preparing to face the challenges of the Post-2015 development agenda since the Millennium development Goals (MDGs) is expiring in this June.
The proposed budget has downsized the GDP growth projection at 7 percent from 7.3 percent of the outgoing fiscal year while the target for containing inflation in the new fiscal year has been set at 6.2 percent.
In the budget for FY16, the revenue receipts have been estimated at Tk 2,08, 443 crore which is 12.1 percent of GDP, of which NBR tax revenue is estimated at Tk 1, 76,370 crore (10.3 percent of GDP).
The tax revenue from non-NBR sources has been estimated at Tk 5,874 crore (0.3 percent of GDP). Besides, Tk 26,199 crore (1.5 percent of GDP) is expected to be collected from non-tax sources.
The total expenditure for FY 2015-16 has been estimated at Tk 2,95,100 crore (17.2 percent of GDP). Taking ADP allocation for autonomous bodies to the tune of Tk 3,996 crore into account, the size of the total budget will stand at almost Tk 3 lakh crore.
The allocation for non-development expenditure, including other expenses, has been estimated at Tk 1,98,100 crore (11.5 percent of GDP). Besides, Tk 97,000 crore has been estimated for ADP.
The overall budget deficit will be Tk. 86,657 crore which is 5.0 percent of GDP, of which, Tk 30,134 crore (1.8 percent of GDP) will be financed from the external sources and Tk 56,523 crore (3.3 percent of GDP) from the domestic sources.
Of the domestic financing, Tk 38,523 crore (2.2 percent of GDP) will come from the banking system and Tk 18,000 crore (1.0 percent of GDP) from savings certificate and other non-banking sources.
In the budget, 23.4 percent of the total outlay has been allocated to social infrastructure sector, of which 20.4 percent has been proposed for the human resource sub-sector (education, health and other related sectors); 30.6 percent of the total allocation has been proposed for the physical infrastructure sector, of which 13.9 percent will go to the overall agriculture and rural development, 8.9 percent to overall communication and 6.3 percent to power and energy sector.
In an attempt to ease the lives of government employees bearing the cost of living, the new pay scale announced for the public servants will be implemented in phases from July 1, 2015. Besides, all allowances of the government employees are going to be under the tax net like their basic salary.
Besides pay and allowances, the Finance Minister said, the government might take an initiative to establish a commercial and development bank titled 'Shammridhi Shopan Bank' as recommended by the Pay and Services Commission for the welfare of government employees.
In principle, there are plans for a comprehensive/maximum reduction in the rate of Import and Supplementary Duty in the budget for 2016-17 financial year which will eventually shift the burden of revenue collection to Individual and Corporate Tax along with Value Added Tax (VAT).
The new budget to make the rates 0, 1, 2, 5, 10 and 25 percent, and the existing customs duty of 2 percent on capital goods would be reduced to 1 percent while that on computer products will remain unchanged at 2 percent.
Earlier on Monday, the House passed the Finance Bill 2015 with some changes as proposed by the Finance Minister to the original one that was placed before the House at the time of the presentation of the budget for fiscal 2015-16 on June 4 last. With the passage of both the Appropriation Bill 2015 and the Finance Bill 2015, the national budget of Tk 2,95,100 crore for fiscal 2015-16 got the approval of the JS on the day, just before the current financial year that concludes on Wednesday.

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