Human resource dev, education get priority in next budget: Muhith

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DHAKA, May 09, 2018 (BSS)- Human resource development and education will get priority in the national budget for fiscal year 2018-19 (FY19) to be placed in Jatiya Sangsad (JS) on June 7, said Finance Minister AMA Muhith.

Speaking at a pre-budget meeting with ERF members here today, the finance minister said allocation will be made in the upcoming budget for Monthly Pay Order (MPO) scheme.

He said the size of the next budget will be around Tk 4.60 lakh crore which will be finalized within the next four or five days. The budget will be passed in the JS on June 30, he added.

The minister hinted to cut corporate tax in the upcoming budget, saying that the rate of corporate tax is comparatively high in the country. He also hinted to increase individual tax free income limit.

“Human resources development, education and sanitation will get priority while the highest allocations will go to transport and energy sectors,” Muhith told the members of the Economic Reporters’ Forum (ERF).

“Allocation will be made for Monthly Pay Order (MPO) in the budget, but the allocation will not only for paying salaries of teachers, it will also include expenditure for the infrastructure development of educational institutions. All secondary level educational institutions will be nationalized in phases and as part of this initiative, some educational institutions will be brought under MPO”, he added.

The finance minister said the education ministry is not much interested to reform the MPO system. In the next budget there will be an announcement about launching bus service for school kids, he said.

He said private investment will increase at the end of the current fiscal year (FY18).

Tax net will be expanded in the next budget, he said and hoped that the country’s 50-60 percent people will pay tax by 2025.

Replying to a question, the finance minister said the upcoming budget will the best budget in his life.

Expressing high hope for formation of the next government by Awami League, Muhith said, “The AL will come to power in the next elections. I am highly hopeful about it. Fresh initiatives will be taken then for strengthening local government system,” he added.

Replying to a question about the country’s sugar industry, he said this industry is not entirely dependent on sugarcane, tariff support is given for survival of this industry. “We can get sugar at cheap price through import. So, I think, there is no need to maintain this industry,” he observed.

ERF president Saif Islam Dilal moderated the meeting.

State minister for finance and planning MA Mannan, NBR chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, finance secretary Muslim Chowdhury, among others, were present at the present.

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