Economists have also questioned whether it is wise to propose a huge revenue target of Tk 3.7 trillion for 2019-20 in the Tk 5.23 trillion budget while the collection missed the target by Tk 220 billion in the outgoing fiscal year.
“Stern measures will be taken against the willful defaulters of bank loans,” Kamal said in his speech in parliament on Thursday, without specifying the measures.
He noted that the government has launched a scheme for borrowers, who defaulted “unwillingly”, to repay the loans with down payment and interests.
He said instruments like Wage Earners’ Bond, venture capital, treasury bond, including a vibrant bond market, will be encouraged to stop the banks from giving long-term loans by collecting short-term deposits.
Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation or PKSF Chairman Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, however, thinks Kamal should have been more specific on his plans about taking the banking sector out of trouble.
“But we have a big issue in our banking sector. It should have been addressed in the budget more clearly. It speaks about a banking commission. Maybe they (commission) will be able to solve the problem,” he added.
He said he did not like the facilities given to loan defaulters for repayment.
“Only two of the 11 groups were able to use the exit (similar facilities) the last time,” Bakht said.
“And what’s more, where will the individual investors get the money if the government borrows from the banking sector?” he asked.
To meet the revenue target, Kamal plans to bring all eligible taxpayers under the tax net.
“He (Kamal) has revised down the revenue target by Tk 220 billion for the previous year (2018-19) but we believe there will be a deficit of Tk 850 billion. So the revenue collection target this time is not realistic,” Debapriya said.
In Raihan’s view, with the “poor” structure of the tax system and laws, it is “not possible” to increase the tax-GDP ratio “significantly” within the next couple of years, as mentioned by Kamal.
Bakht sees implementing the budget will be a challenge, for which he says skills and political will be needed.