The country’s budget for FY2023-24 was proposed on Thursday as Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal presented the national budget of Tk 761,785 crore with the aim of maintaining ongoing development and achieving higher growth.
As in previous years, Kamal suggested modifying the value-added tax (VAT) or charges on a number of goods and services.
This usually brings immediate effect on the cost of these goods and in most cases, the modification will take place on the day of budget announcement.
Providing instant reactions to UNB, people from different walks of life shared both positive and negative responses about the possible changes in the prices of everyday commodities and other services.
Products such as sanitary napkins, diapers, locally made electric bulbs, switches, meat and meat-related products, delivery charges of e-commerce, raw materials for cancer medicines and Malaria and TB medicines, to name a few, may come down in the proposed budget for the 2023-24 fiscal year.
“This is a very welcoming step as the price of sanitary napkins should go down. Rural and urban women and young girls are the direct sufferers if the prices of pads increase; and baby diapers are also one of the most essential commodities for newborns, so this decision is certainly a positive one,” said Sumaiya Mir, a mother who is currently pursuing her Master’s at a city university.
Meanwhile, items including mobile phones, goggles and sunglasses, all kinds of tissue, mobile phone set, gas cylinders, cement, bricks, imported foods such as nuts (cashew, almonds etc), coffee, dates and a lot of necessary household items including refrigerator, oven and devices such as printers, scanner, router, earphones, pen drives would be pricier than before.
“Adding the extra amount of tax, VAT and import duties on several telecommunication devices directly contradicts the vision of the government and it will hamper digitalisation across the country if devices like mobile phones, routers get pricier than before,” said Rafi Rahman, a banker.
Regarding the possible price hike of several kitchen electronic items , Nazma Akter, a garment worker residing in the city’s Rayer Bazar area, told UNB that this could put an extra burden on her to buy necessary electronic items such as a refrigerator for her house in this scorching summer.