AHM Mustafa Kamal
Bangladesh's Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has said that the national budget for the fiscal year (FY) 2023-24 was not based on the conditions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). "Like in different countries, the IMF has come to Bangladesh and made some recommendations to help the economy. We took their prescriptions as per our needs, but did not follow them all in preparing the budget," he said while addressing a post-budget press conference at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the city on Friday (June 2, 2023). He said the IMF is not helping the countries only by providing money, they also monitor the economy. This is good for the economy. Responding to a repeated number of questions on inflation and commodity price hike, the finance minister said the government is concerned about the rising trend in inflation. Read more: Unrealistic budget won’t help overcome economic crisis: Fakhrul "We're apprehensive about inflation, but it is not beyond our control. We cannot stop feeding the people," he said. He said the government is approaching in a flexible way to contain inflation. Through social safety-net programmes, the government has been providing food to poor people. "We're trying to identify the reasons for inflation and address those. If we need to give any concession, we will do that," he said. Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque, LGRD Minister Tajul Islam, Education Minister Dipu Moni, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi, Finance Secretary Fatima Yasmin, Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder, and National Board of Revenue (NBR) Chairman Abu Hena Rahmatul Munim were among others also addressed on the occasion. Read more: CPD dismisses budget's projections on growth, inflation, revenue collection The Finance Minister claimed that the new budget was mainly focused on benefiting the poor people. "We have expanded our tax net so that more taxes could be collected. Everybody has to pay tax," he said, adding that like other budgets in the past this was also prepared targeting both the next election and the people. "We cannot separate the people or the election from our goal of the budget," he said. Responding to another question, he said that all the projections made in the previous budgets were implemented. Kamal said Bangladesh has been well placed in remittance earnings among the countries in the region. Read more: Budget 2023-24: Govt allocates Tk88,162 crore in education sector, up 8.2% After a downward trend, remittance earning is again increasing and we can meet five months of our import bill through our reserve. He said after some measures taken by the government, the inflow of remittance will gradually go up. At the press conference, with the request of the Finance Minister, Bangladesh Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder responded to a good number of questions, specially, on inflation, remittance and banking sector. He said that Bangladesh Bank will announce its monetary policy on June 19 where it will lay out the plan on containing inflation, and increasing remittance and reserve. He claimed that though the government's loan from the banking system is increasing, it will not push up inflation as the central bank is withdrawing more money from the market through selling dollars. Read more: Budget sets 7.5 percent annual economic growth, inflation at 6 percent
The proposed budget of Bangladesh in the fiscal year 2023-24 has set an estimated Gross Domestic Product (GPD) worth of 50.06 lakh crore with a 7.5 percent annual growth. The inflation target was set to 6 percent which is now 9.28 percent in the proposed budget. The 7.5 percent growth projection could be deemed as ambitious given the uncertainties in the global economy and various other challenges at home. Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal explained his position on why he is expecting higher growth this time despite the economic pressures. Read more: Finance Minister unveils Tk 761,785 crore national budget “We expect to return to a higher growth trajectory and achieve a 7.5 percent GDP growth, by way of investing in the productive sectors and stimulating productivity and domestic demand,” he said. Kamal focused on investment in the 100 special economic zones and completing ongoing mega-projects to achieve the GDP target. In FY19, Bangladesh achieved a record 8.15 percent GDP growth. Then came the pandemic. The finance minister set a growth target of 8.2 percent in FY20, but the actual growth achieved was 3.45 percent, the lowest in several decades. The growth rate increased to 6.94 percent in FY21 after recovering from pandemic effects. The GDP growth further increased to 7.1 percent in FY22. Read more: Budget FY23-24: Focus should be on tackling macroeconomic challenges, says Dr Atiur Rahman
Bangladesh's Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal in his budget speech on Thursday (June 1, 2023) proposed to increase the tax-free income limit to Tk 3.5 lakh from the existing Tk 3 lakh for individual taxpayers for the fiscal year 2023-24.He also proposed the threshold for women and senior citizens above 65 years of age to Tk 4 lakh from Tk 3.5 lakh. Read more: Finance Minister unveils Tk 761,785 crore national budgetBesides, proposals have been placed for the physically challenged persons and third-gender taxpayers to extend their tax-free income limit to Tk 4.75 lakh from Tk 4.5 lakh and Tk 3.5 lakh respectively.The tax-free income ceiling for the war-wounded, gazetted freedom fighters will be Tk 5 lakh, up from Tk 4.75 lakh. The proposed tax rates and tax slabs for all categories of individual taxpayers except companies and local authorities are: no tax on first Tk 3.5 lakh, 5 percent tax on next Tk 1 lakh; 10 percent on next Tk 3 lakh; 15 percent on next Tk 4 lakh; 20 percent on next Tk 5 lakh and 25 percent income tax on the balance of total income. Read more: Budget sets 7.5 percent annual economic growth, inflation at 6 percent
Bangladesh's Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has unveiled the national budget of Tk 761,785 crore for the fiscal year 2023–24. The finance minister rolled out the budget at the Jatiya Sangsad on Thursday (June 01, 2023). This is the 5th consecutive budget presented by the finance minister and last of the current Awami League government. The budget focuses on driving the country on an incremental economic-growth matching Bangladesh's LDC-graduation route and fulfilling the conditions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a loan of $4.7 billion. Also read: Budget for FY 2023-24 to be placed on June 1 The proposed budget is 15.2 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Of the total proposed budget, Tk 475,281 crore is allocated for operating expenditures, and the rest, Tk 277,582 crore, for development purposes. The total revenue earnings target was set at estimated Tk 5 lakh crore, Of which, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) will collect Tk 4.30 lakh crore, and the rest will be collected from other sources. The proposed budget's overall deficit, including grants, will be Tk 257,885 crore, which is 5.2 per cent of the GDP. Read more: Budget FY23-24: Focus should be on tackling macroeconomic challenges, says Dr Atiur Rahman The inflation target is set to 6.5 percent though current inflation rate is over 9 percent.
Fifty lakh low-income households will get food assistance of 30 kg of rice each month at the rate of Tk15. The assistance will be given in the lean seasons- September, October and November and March and April, said Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal in his budget speech on Thursday. The national budget gives priority to enhance food production and supply chain management of food items to keep the domestic commodity market stable, said the minister. The global food production, procurement, storage and the entire supply chain including agricultural marketing systems faced unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, said the minister. Also Read: Finance Minister starts unveiling Tk 678,064 cr national budget Despite the crisis arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, Bangladesh is able to keep the production of agriculture uninterrupted in the country and achieve food and nutrition security thanks to the very timely initiatives of the government, he added. The government is distributing 5 lakh MT of rice and 5.09 lakh MT of wheat flour in the current fiscal year 2021-2022 and this programme in the FY 2022-23 will continue.
Keeping the rate of incentive on sending remittance unchanged at 2.5 per cent in the fiscal year 2022-23, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has hoped that a satisfactory growth of remittance will be back on track soon. In his budget speech on Thursday, he mentioned that in FY2020-2021 the growth of remittance stood at 36.10 per cent. However, since the very beginning of FY2021-2022, the income from remittances slightly decreased. With a view to encouraging remittance through legal channels, he said the government has raised the rate of incentives by 0.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent from January, 2022. The government has withdrawn the mandatory provisions for submission of earning documents of the remitters in the case of availing cash incentives against remittances exceeding the amount of US$ 5,000. As a result, in recent months the flow of remittance has begun to increase again, he mentioned. Also Read: Finance Minister starts unveiling Tk 678,064 cr national budget Overseas Employment Generation About the overseas job, Mustafa Kamal said that in order to ensure dignified jobs for Bangladeshi workers abroad, it is necessary to ensure the quality of their training and skill. With this end in view, all the training programmes of technical training institutes and institutes of marine technology are conducted under the National, Technical and Vocational Qualification Framework (NTVQF) from the current fiscal year. Mustafa Kamal mentioned that the government has taken up a range of initiatives for the welfare of both expatriate workers and workers returning from abroad. A plan of action for establishing technical training institutes at every Upazila by phase has been taken up for inspiring the marginalised communities across the country. He said the implementation of the project for establishing 100 technical institutes at Upazila level will start soon. Apart from this, there is a plan to ensure overseas employment of 8.10 lakh Bangladeshi workers and provide skill development training to 5.20 lakh workers in different trades, he said.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has said that the government is contemplating amnesty for bringing the laundered money back into the country. “We’re thinking of announcing amnesty for bringing the smuggled money back,” he told reporters in briefing after the two consecutive meetings of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) and Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase on Thursday. Also read: Finance minister directs regulators to boost investment in stock market He said Bangladesh Bank will make more announcements in this regard before the national budget is placed in Parliament. He said the issue of amnesty will be reflected in the national budget. "The initiative will be taken by the Bangladesh Bank and announced by it through circulars. But we don’t want to make any announcement in this regard before placing the national budget in parliament”, he said. The finance minister’s remarks came in response to the reporters’ questions on the government’s initiative as Bangladesh Bank recently announced that any person will be allowed to bring in upto $5000 from abroad without any prior declaration and no question will be asked about the source of the money. Such an announcement from the central bank came to encourage people to bring more US dollars against the backdrop of its prevailing crisis. Recently, the greenback gained strength against the local currency as the dollar rate went up to Tk 100 in the kerb market while officially Bangladesh Taka (BDT) was depreciated on a number of occasions. Kamal said the initiative is being taken mainly to bring back that money which was laundered from the country. He, however, did not give any detail of the amount as to how much money was laundered. “I can’t give you any idea how much money was laundered. But we collect information from the media and other official and non-official sources”, he said. Also read: Finance minister hints at hard decisions due to Russia-Ukraine war He said different countries are announcing amnesty like tax exemption. “We’re also thinking so”. The finance minister said he believes that the people who laundered money will take advantage of the government’s amnesty as it is a good scope for them. Responding to a question on the issue, he said there is a dollar crisis. “But it’s not at a level that would hamper our import. We have enough dollars in our reserves to run the import business”, he said.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal at a meeting with Bangladesh Bank (BB) governor Fazle Kabir and other senior officials of the ministry asked them to work for boosting stock market investment. He said the economy of Bangladesh stands on a strong base and growth position is very positive, but the unstable situation of the stock market is not acceptable. Also read: Finance minister directs regulators to boost investment in stock market Despite the Russia-Ukraine war and Covid-19 pandemic the economic growth of Bangladesh will continue, he said. Kamal on Sunday gave several directives to the BB and Bangladesh Security and Exchange Commission (BSEC) for immediate implementation to boost the stock market In order to attract capital in the market, state-owned investment institution ICB has been instructed to keep the bank's investment outside the investment limit or exposure limit of this institution in the capital market. It has also been decided to double the size of the Tk150-crore funds given to the ICB for small investors, which had expired. Also read:Finance minister hints at hard decisions due to Russia-Ukraine war The finance minister asked for increased tenure of the funds along with doubling the funds’ size. The investments will be made from this fund from Monday, the finance ministry sources said. Finance Secretary Abdur Rauf Talukder and Secretary of Financial Institutions Division Sheikh Mohammad Salim Ullah were also present at the meeting.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Monday thanked Asian Development Bank (ADB) for providing Bangladesh USD $ 1 billion as budget aid to face the adverse economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The minister was addressing a meeting at a city hotel with visiting ADB vice president (operation) Shixin Chen. Kamal praised the ADB’s role as the ’main development partner’ of Bangladesh. Since independence, Manila-based and mainly Japan-funded ADB provided $27 billion loan aid to the country. Also read: PM urges ADB to finance Bangladesh's Delta Plan 2100 The finance minister hoped for continued cooperation of ADB for socio-economic development and poverty alleviation in Bangladesh. In response, ADB’s vice president Chen has assured Kamal to continue ADB’s aid for recovery of the economy from the loss of pandemic and for socio economic improvement. Bangladesh Bank’s Governor Fazle Kabir, finance secretary Abdur Rouf Talukther, Economic Relation Division Secretary Fatema Yasmin, ADB’s deputy director Manmohan Parkash, Country Director Mr. Edimon Ginting, among others, present in the meeting. Also read: ADB approves ceiling for policy-based lending
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has thanked Asian Development Bank (ADB) for its prompt assistance in overcoming the adverse effects of COVID-19 pandemic. Illustrating the ADB’s assistance to Bangladesh he said ADB has provide USD $ 1.0 billion budget support for potential economic impact of Coronavirus outbreak, $100 million for in health assistance for COVID-19 Response Emergency Assistance project, $940 million loan assistance for purchase of COVID-19 vaccine and $9.34 million grant assistance during the pandemic. READ: Govt, ADB ink $13.5 mln loan deal to improve irrigation management Kamal came up with remarks while speaking in an exchange meeting with Executive Director of ADB Sameer Kumar Khare at his secretariat office on Monday. Abdur Rauf Talukder, Senior Secretary, Finance Division, Fatima Yasmin, Secretary, Economic Relations Division, Edimon Ginting, Country Director, Asian Development Bank, Bangladesh Office, among others, were present. ADB is one of the leading development partners in Bangladesh. ADB has provided $19.7 billion in loan assistance to Bangladesh since 1982. Kamal particularly urged the ADB to provide more development assistance to address the challenges following the transition from LDCs to developing countries. READ: ADB provides $150 mln loan to support small-scale employment creation project He stressed the need for continuing such cooperation between Bangladesh and ADB in the future to achieve the overall development goals. In response Sameer Kumar said ADB has been cooperating from the very beginning to restore the social and economic security of Bangladesh to overcome the pandemic and will continue to be on the side of Bangladesh in the future as well.