Opinion

2018-19 budget targets 7.8 % growth
Faruque Ahmed
26 Jun,2018

Finance Minister AMA Muhith on June 7 placed a mammoth budget of Tk 4,64,573 crore before Jatiya Sangsad for fiscal (2018-19) targeting an economic growth of 7.8 percent to transform the country towards greater prosperity.


This is Muhith 12 budget and 10th for Awami League government in consecutive years under the two terms. He opened the budget speech themed as “Bangladesh on Pathway to Prosperity,” in the full House in presence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Muhith saids he was “presenting the budget at such a time when the country’s economy is in the best phase and this is also the last budget of the ruling Awami League government.  

He said the average economic growth rate hit 7.0 per cent in the last couple of year and the economy is expected to grow by 7.65 per cent in the outgoing fiscal year 2017-18 based on pragmatic economic policies of the Awami League government.  

“Our government’s capacity for rapid implementation of socio-economic development plans has already been proved at home and abroad. The country has left behind the stigma of a ‘bottomless basket’, long ago and it is considered as a development miracle at global level. It is already a global role model.”

He said the proposed budget has been focused on promoting economic growth, maintaining fiscal discipline, boosting exports gearing up investment for job creation striding on the people-friendly policies for socio-economic growth.

He said the budget has laid prime focus on human resource development and infrastructure while enhance allocations for social safety net proposed for providing maximum relief to vulnerable segments of the society.

Muhith said the total outlay of the proposed budget for the next fiscal year is Tk 4,64,573 crore (18.3 percent of GDP), up by 16 per cent over that of the original budget of the outgoing fiscal year 2017-18.

Of the total expenditure outlay, Tk 3,39,280 crore (13.4 per cent of GDP) is estimated to come from revenue receipts.

According to the proposal, the overall budget deficit will be Tk 1,25,293 crore, which is 4.9 per cent of GDP.  Of this an amount, of Tk 54,067 crore (2.1 per cent of GDP) will be financed from external sources while an amount of Tk 71,226 crore (2.8 per cent of GDP) will be financed from domestic sources.

Of the domestic sources, Tk 42,029 crore will be borrowed from banking system while Tk 29,197 crore will come from National Savings Schemes and other non-bank sources.  

The proposed budget has set a revenue collection target of Tk 2,96,201 crore (11.7 per cent of GDP) for the National Board of Revenue (NBR) and Tk 9,727 crore from non-NBR sources. Besides, the collection from non-tax sources is estimated at Tk 33,352 crore.

”It is essential to collect adequate revenue from internal sources to continue current economic progresses,” said Muhith adding, “We have emphasized on collection of revenue not by increasing tax rate but through expansion of tax base and encouraging self-compliance by reforming existing tax system.”  

According to the budget documents, an allocation of Tk 2,91,573 crore has been proposed for non-development and other expenditure and Tk 1,73,000 crore for development expenditure. An allocation of Tk 51,340 crore has been earmarked for the government’s debt servicing.

On the overall expenditure structure, Muhith proposed an allocation of 29.31 per cent of the total outlay for social infrastructure sector (education, health and others), 30.99 per cent for physical infrastructure, 11.43 per cent for communication sector and 5.36 per cent for power and energy sector. Besides, 25.30 per cent of the total allocation has been proposed for general services and 4.78 per cent for PPP.

The proposed budget forecast that inflation to remain about 5.6 per cent in the next fiscal year.
Earlier in the morning the cabinet in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, approved the proposed budget.