The government issued a gazette notification on Thursday directing self-governed agencies, including autonomous, semi-autonomous, statutory government authorities and public non-financial corporations, to deposit their surplus funds in the national exchequer.
An organisation will have to deposit the surplus funds after setting aside the operational cost, additional 25 percent of the operational cost as an emergency fund, money for general provident funds (GPF) and pensions.
The government will allow the organisations to keep funds for implementing self-financed projects, and to estimate their own operational cost.
On this issue, the Jatiya Sangsad on February 5 passed the "Deposition of the Surplus Money of Self-Governed Agencies including Autonomous, Semi-Autonomous, Statutory Government Authorities and Public Non-Financial Corporations into the Government Exchequer Bill, 2020."
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal piloted the bill in the House in the face of disapproval from the opposition bench. Later, the bill was passed by voice votes after Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, who was in the chair at that time, moved it for voting.
According to the gazette notification, government organisations retain a large amount of surplus money after tackling necessary expenses from their funds.
But the country's development depends on development projects undertaken by the government, and a large amount of money is needed to finance those projects.
The surplus money held by government organisations belongs to the people, and it should be spent on their welfare, the gazette said.
Sixty-one state organisations have been listed in the gazette.
Official sources say that some of the organisations which have large amounts of idle money are the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation with Tk21,580 crore in idle money, Petrobangla (Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation) Tk18,204 crore, the Power Development Board Tk13,454 crore, the Chattogram Seaport Tk9,913 crore and Rajuk (Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha) Tk4,030 crore.
The government decided to bring the surplus funds into its exchequer to ensure their "better use" as around Tk2,00,000 crore remains idle with at least 61 such organisations, according to sources.
However, many of those organisations do not make a profit every year, and some of them are subsidised by the government.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said, "The initiative has been taken to transfer the surplus funds held by self-governed state agencies to the national exchequer, with the aim of bringing discipline to the financial sector.
The finance ministry formed a four-member committee on February 16 to determine the amount of idle funds being held by the self-governed agencies, including autonomous, semi-autonomous, statutory government authorities and public non-financial corporations.
Additional secretary of the Treasury and Debt Management Division of the Finance Department will serve as the chairman of the committee, which will submit a full report soon to the finance secretary.
The committee will audit and check current bank accounts of the organisations for the last five years. It will also make a list of ongoing projects that are expected to be completed within the next three years, and examine their yearly expenses.
The committee will also examine the agencies' funds that have been set aside for general provident funds and pensions.