With an eye on taming inflation amid existing challenges of recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, the Jatiya Sangsad passed the Tk6.78 lakh crore budget for the fiscal 2022-23 on Thursday at the concluding budget session.
The budget, titled "Return to the Path of Development; Leaving the Covid-19 Behind", will come into effect from 1 July.
On 9 June, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal placed the budget proposal in parliament which was followed by extensive discussions in 20 sessions before being passed by votes by lawmakers.
Out of the approved budget allocation, the operating expenditure is Tk411,406 crore and development expenditure is Tk25,9617 crore, of which Tk246,066 crore is earmarked as annual development programme expenditure.
About 55% or Tk3.7 lakh crore of the budget allocation will come from the National Board of Revenue (NBR), 2.6% from non-NBR tax and 6.6% from non-tax revenue.
The budget deficit (excluding grants) will be Tk2,45,064 crore, which is 5.5% of the gross domestic product.
To meet the deficit, the government has set a target of taking Tk112,458 crore from foreign sources and Tk146,335 crore from domestic sources.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal also moved the Appropriations Bill, 2022 seeking a budgetary allocation of Tk8,83,751 crore which was passed by voice vote.
Opposition and independent MPs were present in the House when the Appropriation Bill was passed in Parliament and they did not raise any voice against it.
Of the total allocation, 27.05% was kept for social infrastructure, out of which Tk1,67,524 crore was allocated to the human resources sector (education, health and other related sectors).
A total of Tk86,798 crore was designated for overall agriculture and rural development, Tk79,026 crore for communication infrastructure and Tk26,065 crore for the power and energy sub-sector.
For public-private partnership, financial assistance to different industries, subsidies, equity investments in state-owned, commercial and financial institutions, a total of Tk53,155 crore has been made which is 7.84% of the total allocation.
Besides, an allocation of Tk80,375 crore has been made for the payments of interest, which is 11.85% of the total allocation.
Earlier in the day, various proposals to trim the budget were discussed in Parliament but were rejected by vote.
Prime Minister and leader of the house Sheikh Hasina was present throughout the session chaired by Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury.
The Parliament session began on 5 June, having 20 sessions in total.
Earlier on Wednesday, it had passed several amendments on the budget. Leader of the Opposition Raushan Ershad addressed the gathering on the same day.
The latest budget has kept only one of three proposed offshore amnesty tax facilities, allowing repatriation of any undisclosed asset by paying a 7% tax, while removing the options of keeping wealth abroad by paying a minimum tax.
Under the approved changes, if the offshore assets of an individual taxpayer are not disclosed and are later discovered, the government might slap a fine tantamount to the value of the concealed assets.
In such a case, any local assets of the taxpayer concerned might also be confiscated and auctioned by the government.
The Finance Bill, which gives effect to the new taxation, has also eased the conditions to avail 2.5% corporate tax cut facility.
At the same time, the condition of submitting proof of returns for companies and firms has been relaxed. This, however, will not be applicable for individuals.
The Jatiya Sangsad passed a budget of Tk5.93 lakh crore for the 2021-22 fiscal year.