Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said that funds were not a problem for reviving the health sector and tackling the Covid-19 pandemic, which has affected both lives and livelihoods.
The minister came up with the remark at a post-budget briefing through a webinar in which Planning Minister MA Mannan and Agriculture Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque also took part.
“More budgetary allocation would be provided to the health ministry as long as they ensured health service in the country,” the minister said.
The budget proposal was prepared amid unusual circumstances, Kamal said before adding it’s “not a normal and a traditional budget.”
He said budget proposal of 2020-21 FY is not just a ‘traditional’ one as some economists have described it, but rather one for ‘saving lives and livelihoods’.
Mustafa Kamal stood by his revenue collection target in the proposed budget and called upon rich people to come forward to save the country’s people.
“We expect that the coronavirus won’t be prolonged in the country and we can collect revenue as per our expectation. At first, we have to save people as the country’s people have been affected by coronavirus. Now we have to build infrastructure and create more jobs as many lost their jobs due to the impact of Covid-19,” the minister also said.
Replying to questions raised by experts regarding revenue collection, the finance minister said that full-fledged automation of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) will help to collect tax money.
“We gave priority to the agriculture sector after the health sector in the budget. We want to make the agriculture sector in a new way. We need huge money to feed the nation and create jobs,” the minister said.
Mustafa Kamal said, ‘‘We have been able to achieve our target in previous years. So, we hope we can obtain GPD growth this year too. We announced the 49th budget traditionally. But this year’s budget is different due to Covid-19. Besides, I had to face various problems before the announcement of the proposed budget not getting proper data.”
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal placed the proposed budget of Tk 568,000 crore in Parliament on Thursday. The
revenue collection target has been set at Tk 378,000 crore. Of the amount, NBR has been tasked with realizing a revenue collection target of Tk330,000 crore, The non-NBR revenue collection target is Tk15,000 crore, while the non-tax revenue collection goal is Tk33,000 crore.