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Lawmakers' term proposed budget as investment friendly, development-oriented

SANGSAD BHABAN, June 19, 2017 (BSS) - Lawmakers in the parliament today asserted that the proposed budget for fiscal 2017-18 is undoubtedly an investment friendly and development oriented which would pave the way for building prosperous Bangladesh by 2041 under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The proposed budget has earmarked Taka 1,46,000 crore for Annual Development Programme (ADP) and its major part would be spend for electricity and communication infrastructure development, they said.

Taking part on the ninth day in general discussion on the proposed budget, front ranking lawmaker Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim told the parliament that the government has allocated Taka 1,59,013 crore for development sector which was Taka 1,10,000 crore earlier and the people is getting benefit from such increased allocation for the development sector.

Protesting BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia's statement on proposed budget that this mega budget has been proposed for resorting to alleged corruption of the Awami League leaders, Sheikh Selim said if the Awami League leaders have done corruption, Bangladesh would never be promoted to the middle income country from the lower income one.

State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid Bipu said "the country needs huge investment on electricity transmission lines, adding that "we have to invest US$ 70 billion for generating uninterrupted power supply by 2024."

Referring to newly imposed vat on the housing sector, Hamid urged the finance minister to reconsider the newly imposed 15 per cent vat on the housing sector as it would hamper the government target of housing for all by 2021.

Refuting the proposed budget as highly ambitious, Mahbubul Alam Hanif said the proposed budget is very much important for building the country by 2021.

The proposed budget has given importance on flourishing the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) sector, he said, adding that which would help build a technology based developed country under the leadership of Shajib Wazed Joy, son of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The lawmaker, however, criticized the newly imposed VAT and excise duty on the bank savings and said the newly imposed VAT and excise duty will create difficult situation for the government ahead of the upcoming national election.

The lawmakers also expressed shock over the attack on BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and they urged the government to bring those alleged attackers under book whatever their party affiliations. Earlier, Finance Minister AMA Muhith on June 1 placed a Taka 400266 crore national budget for 2017-18 fiscal setting the GDP growth target at 7.4 percent and detailing a set of programmes to transform the country into a role model of modern and welfare state by 2041.

Treasury bench lawmakers Abul Kalam Azad, Begum Sahara Khatun, State Minister for Fisheries and Livestock Narayan Chandra Chanda, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Mohammed Shahriar Alam, Major (retd) Rafiqul Islam Bir Uttam, Begum Fazilatunnesa Bappi, HN Ashiqur Rahman, Mahbub Ali, Manirul Islam, Moslem Uddin, Mokbul Hossen, Nurunnabi Chowdhury and Israfil Alam, Jatiya Party lawmakers Nasrin Jahan Ratna, Selim Uddin, Mahjabin Morshed, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal lawmaker Mainuddin Khan Badal and BNF lawmaker SM Abul Kalam Azad also took part in the general discussion.

Earlier, the sitting of the house resumed today at 12.10pm with Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair. The session adjourned with Deputy Speaker Fazley Rabbi in the chair at 5.09 pm and to resume at 10.30 am tomorrow (Tuesday).