Budget designed to address global situation: PM Sheikh Hasina

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Published on June 8, 2024
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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said that the national budget for fiscal year 2024-25 was designed with the current global situation in mind, aiming to progress conservatively while fulfilling people's fundamental rights.

“We have to proceed with the plan, keeping the world situation in mind. We want to move ahead conservatively and fulfil the fundamental rights of people,” the premier said while delivering her address as the chair at a discussion marking the historic Six-Point Day, organised by Awami League at Tejgaon in the capital on Friday (June 7).

Referring to different people’s observations on why the growth percentage is low in the budget, the Prime Minister said her government wants to move forward conservatively from now on so the countrymen don’t feel any suffering.

Sheikh Hasina, also AL president, said, “Actually, we want to meet the necessity of people. And we have formulated the budget keeping it in our mind.”

“In this budget, few fundamental rights of people such as education, health, agriculture, local industries, social safety net, have been given priority,” she said.

Measures have also been taken to make the people’s livelihood developed, she added.

Talking about the global high inflation, the premier said that people with limited income have been suffering from inflation.

“But we’ve introduced family cards for the limited-income people to purchase several essential commodities like rice, pulse and edible oil at fair prices. We’re providing food to those who are extremely poor,” she said.

The government is also providing financial assistance to the people under some 150 social safety programmes, giving free textbooks to school students, and offering people some 30 types of free medicines from the community clinics, she added.

Sheikh Hasina said, “The price of commodities usually goes high during every monsoon season. Keeping it in mind, we’ll start the sale of commodities through family cards.”

She went on saying that now the biggest challenge is to control inflation, particularly food prices, mentioning that it is needed to enhance food production and supply.

About the budget deficit, the prime minister said a 4.6 percent deficit had been kept in the budget this time, adding, the budget deficit in many countries, even developed ones in the world, is higher than it.

She reiterated her call not to leave even a single inch of land uncultivated to boost food production in the country amid the current global situation.

About the provision for legalising black money, she said that it (black money) should be brought into the legal network first.

“The money should be allowed to come to the appropriate place (the banking channel) first with payment of a nominal amount of money (tax) and then they will have to pay tax regularly…. If you go to catch fish, you need to provide feed,” she said.

Talking about the scope for whitening the black money, the prime minister said many raised questions about it and argued that it would discourage legal taxpayers.

She said, “It's not right, rather the fact is that the price of everything went up and the owner of one katha land is a millionaire (kotipoti). But none sell land at the government rate, rather sell it at higher prices”.

So, they keep the surplus money received from the sale of land outside the banking network, she added.