PM Hasina to hold budget briefing Friday as her deputy falls ill

Sheikh Hasina will hold a media briefing on budget at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka at 3pm Friday for the first time, as Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has been taken ill.

Published : 13 June 2019, 01:01 PM
Updated : 13 June 2019, 10:24 PM

The prime minister, who will attend the event to take questions from journalists, in a rare turn of events also read a part of Kamal’s fiscal 2019-20 budget speech in parliament on Thursday after her finance chief was struggling with ill health.

A distressed Kamal fumbled through the start of his speech before being allowed by Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury to deliver his address sitting down.

But the minister continued to struggle throughout the session before Hasina rushed to his rescue and took over from him to complete the address.

The finance minister began presenting his maiden budget at 3pm on Thursday after attending a cabinet meeting on the country’s financial plans presided over by Hasina.

The 72-year-old went to Dhaka's Apollo Hospital for a medical check-up on Tuesday evening, having been suffering from a fever for a few days. He subsequently stayed at the hospital overnight on the advice of doctors.

Kamal attended parliament on Wednesday.

According to reports in the media, Kamal has been afflicted with dengue fever. One of the minister's political colleagues also appeared to confirm the news.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher