FY 15-16 budget size to be around Tk 3 trillion, hints finance minister

The size of the budget for the coming 2015-16 fiscal will be around Tk 3 trillion, says Finance Minister AMA Muhith.

Abdur Rahim Badal Chief Economics Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 5 April 2015, 07:09 AM
Updated : 5 April 2015, 07:09 AM

The proposed budget for the next fiscal is set to be presented in Parliament on Jun 4 and will be passed on the last day of the current fiscal, Jun 30.

“Pre-budget discussions start from Sunday. The budget will reflect the suggestions coming out of those discussions,” he told bdnews24.com.

The coming budget will focus on poverty alleviation, expanding social safety net, improving agriculture and the energy sector, said Muhith, who will be presenting the budget for a ninth time. 

“New budgets usually consider a 13 to 14 percent rise from the ongoing one,” he said replying a query over the budget size.

He hinted that the budget size will be somewhere between Tk 2.8 trillion and 3 trillion for the coming fiscal.

The size of the current fiscal’s budget is Tk 2.50 trillion and the previous one was Tk 2.22 trillion.

The coming budget will pave way for implementing ongoing “mega projects” like the Padma Bridge, Metrorail and Moghbazar-Mouchak flyover, said Muhith.

Padma Bridge will be completed during the government’s present term, he said adding: “Over 20 percent of the Padma project has been completed. Geo-technical survey for the Metrorail project has already started and we want to complete this project by 2019.”

According to Muhith, Bangladesh has achieved the Millennium Development Goal to cut poverty down by 28.5 percent way before the stipulated target of 2015.

“We had achieved the MDG goals in 2013. Poverty is now under 20 percent and will further come down when the statistics bureau’s ongoing household expenditure survey is published.

“The FY 2015-16 budget will help us fulfil our dreams,” he added.

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According to last year’s official figures, the rate of poverty in Bangladesh stood at 25.6 percent until June, 2014. It came down by another 0.8 percent over the last one year.

This forecast is based on the 2010 household-expenditure survey conducted by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS).

The BBS does this survey every five years and the one for 2015 is already underway.

Pre-budget discussions start Sunday

AMA Muhith is scheduled to present the proposal for the 45th budget in the House on Jun 4.

This would be his seventh budget as an Awami League minister -- and the ninth as country's finance minister.

As the finance minister during HM Ershad’s regime he had presented budgets for FY 1982-83 and 1983-84.

Late BNP leader M Saifur Rahman presented budgets on 12 occasions, a record for Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, the pre-budget discussions start on Sunday.

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Muhith is set to discuss with research bodies, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Economic Research Group (ERG), Policy Research Institute (PRI) and Bangladesh Economics Association at the National Economic Council.

Like every year, the finance minister will hold a series of meetings with representatives of NGOs, eminent economists and professionals, parliamentary standing committees and journalists.

He will also attend a discussion on agriculture organised by a private TV channel on Apr 9.

The pre-budget discussions will end on May 14 with a meeting between Muhith and editors of print and electronic media.