The budget for 2018-19 fiscal, the election-year budget of ruling Awami League government, will focus on infrastructure development and industrial growth to woo the voters ahead of the 11th national election, analysts said.
As this will be the last budget of the current parliament, the government will put its best efforts in the budget to make visible progress in a number of mega projects including the Padma Bridge and Metro Rail ahead of the polls slated for December, they added.
Development work in the areas of roads, highways and ports is also underway to fulfil the expectations of the general public, who are the ultimate source of power in a democratic process.
AL presidium member Abdur Razzaque told the daily sun that the main focus of the budget will be infrastructure and industrial development.
“The budget will put emphasis on the manufacturing industries as a tool for industrial expansion and employment creation,” he said, adding that the AL prepares budget keeping the welfare poor people in mind.
Asked about whether the government will prepare the budget keeping in mind the next parliamentary election, he, however, said the election will not be reflected in the budgetary plans.
Regarding the implementation of FY 19 budget, he said the government won’t face in difficulty in implementing the budget as a healthy political atmosphere prevails in the country.
The 21st session of 10th parliament, known as the budget session, will begin at 11:00 am on June 5.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith is expected to place the proposed budget for 2018-2019 fiscal on June 7.
Speaking at pre-budget discussions, Muhith hinted that the size of the upcoming budget would be Tk 468,000 crore with a target of 7.8 percent GDP growth.
On June 1 last year, the finance minister placed a Tk 400,266 crore budget with a target of 7.4 percent GDP growth for 2017-2018 fiscal.
Assuming the office for the second consecutive term through January 5, 2014 polls, the government placed a Tk 250,000 crore budget for 2014-15 fiscal, up from Tk 222,000 crore for 2013-14 FY.
AL joint general secretary Dipu Moni told the daily sun that though the next election would be held in the first half of 2018-19 fiscal, the budget would not be a different one.
“The ongoing development activities being carried out by our government will be continued through the next budget,” she said.
Terming the upcoming budget as part of a long-term plan of the government, she said the government will allocate sufficient funds for the ongoing and upcoming mega projects.
Echoing with Dipu Moni, AL organising secretary Khalid Mahmud Chowdhruy said the government would put the highest importance on mega projects in next budget.
Another AL organising secretary Mesbahuddin Siraj said the party would prepare the upcoming budget targeting the general election.
“The budget will be prepared to keep up the country’s development progress. The expectations of the people will be reflected in the budget,” he said.
Mohammad Monir Hossan
Senior Assistant Director (Division of Research)