The finance minister has served only the interest of businesspeople by reducing corporate and business turnover tax rates in the proposed budget, but there is hardly anything in it for the common people.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said this at a post-budget press conference at the party chairperson's Gulshan political office in the capital on Friday.
Fakhrul said, "A government without the support of people has no responsibility to the state. They do not feel any need for accountability. Therefore, the budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year exclusively serves the benefit of businessmen."
Terming it a 'budget to maintain the continuity of corruption', Mirza Fakhrul said, "Foreign loans will be repaid by imposing more tax on the people. There is no clear roadmap to ensure transparency in the overall implementation of the budget and prevent corruption."
Observing that the budget did not reflect public interest, he said good governance has not been ensured in the proposed budget. Rather, it reflects the country's lack of democracy, human rights, freedom of speech, the rule of law and accountability.
The hypocrisy is clear in its title 'Bangladesh on the path to a strong future with priority of life and livelihood', he said, adding that health, education and social security have been largely neglected in the proposed budget.
The BNP leader said the issue of social security is missing in this huge-sized proposed budget; whereas at this moment, health is the most crucial concern. This year's budget is unrealistic, imaginary and nothing but a paper tiger.
"No specific roadmap for corona vaccination has been outlined. The government has promised to vaccinate 2.5 million people a month, but it is not at all clear when it would start, or how the target would be achieved," he added.
He said, "There is no specific proposal in the proposed budget for cash transfer to save the livelihood of working class people."
"The BNP proposed an increase in the allocation of incentives from 5% to 7%. In many countries, budget allocations of incentives are 10%-20%. But the government has allotted less than 2%. It is one kind of eye-wash," he said.
He said this year's proposed budget is only 17.46% of GDP. The original budget for the financial year 2020-21 was Tk5,68,000 crore, which was 17.90% of the GDP. It shows that the budget has shrunk rather than increased.