The Bangladesh Nationalist Party on Thursday rejected the national budget for 2020-21 fiscal year terming it unrealistic and customary.
It criticised the government for its failure in prioritising the health sector amid coronavirus outbreak.
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, on behalf of the party, made the observations during a virtual press conference from his Uttara house in Dhaka, two days after the Tk 5.68 lakh crore budget was passed in the Jatiya Sangsad.
The BNP leader criticized less allocation in health and agriculture keeping allocation for mega construction projects.
He denounced the government for charging fees for COVID-19 tests as it would discourage people from having tests.
He said that the government passed the budget hurriedly with budgetary discussion in the House only for one day to avoid criticism.
‘This budget is not implementable. They did not say specifically from where the huge amount of money would come. The revenue income target is not achievable at all as in previous years they could not even collect 50 per cent of the target amount,’ he said.
Fakhrul said that the government should have prepared an emergency budget during the epidemic period with focus on public health, lives and livelihoods.
He alleged that the programmes in the budget were taken targeting some specific groups. ‘Actually, sectionalism is being cherished under political patronisation.’
He said that revenue income would decrease sharply as people’s income and consumption was reducing for long economic recession due to the pandemic.
The BNP leader feared that the deficit might stand at Tk 4 lakh crore and the government would have to borrow from banks to meet the deficit.
‘The budget mentioned that Tk 85,000 crore would be borrowed from banks. And the amount might be doubled. If such huge amount is taken from the banking system, the loan flow in the private sector would come to zero which would affect employment,’ he said.
If the situation becomes so, he said, the government would have to print a huge amount of money to tackle the situation and the countrymen would have to endure high inflation.
Fakhrul also criticised the tax imposition on the use of mobile and internet.
He lamented that the government paid no heed to the BNP proposal on budget.
He condemned the finance minister’s trip to London within a day of passing the budget saying that the minister left his people beyond when they badly need him as well as testing kits and oxygen support in hospitals.
Fakhrul said 76 BNP leaders and activists so far died of COVID-19 and scores infected.
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