Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal declared that the proposed budget of FY 2020-21 will prioritise health, agriculture, social safety net and job creation for recovering from the current economic crisis.
During his speech in the Parliament, the minister said that the health sector has been given the highest priority, and provisions have been made for in the form of additional allocation, incentives, compensations, etc.
After the health sector, the second-highest priority has been placed on agriculture. To boost food production, the finance minister proposed to lay emphasis on farm mechanisation, incentives for irrigation and seeds and rehabilitation of agriculture, and continue to provide subsidies on fertilizers.
The finance minister also proposed to expand the coverage of social safety net programmes to reduce hardships of the poor working people due to long general holidays and lockdowns amid the coronavirus pandemic as the third-highest priority.
Finally, the minister focused on job creation and rural development to tackle unemployment in the industry, SMEs and services sector and the rural non-formal sector due to partial closure of overall economic activities, and to create employment opportunities for expatriate Bangladeshis who have been forced to return from abroad.
"Besides, we have given a priority to implement various fiscal and stimulus programs for maintaining the pace of economic development in the aftermath of COVID-19. Alongside, we have given priority to the overall human resource development including education and skills enhancement, as well as to the construction of houses for the poor," the minister added.