April 30, 2007, 03:29 PM
Join Date: April 8, 2007
GDP growth in FY '08 to be projected at 7%
Finance adviser rules out controversy over budget presentation
GDP growth in FY '08 to be projected at 7.0pc
Finance Adviser AB Mirza Azizul Islam dismissed Sunday any constitutional controversy over the presentation of the national budget for the fiscal 2007-08.
"An ordinance promulgated by the President to this effect will do," the finance adviser told reporters at the end of a meeting of the Resource Committee at his secretariat chamber.
"This year's budget will be placed in a changed situation and will be approved by a presidential ordinance" he said.
The committee discussed the revenue collection trend of this fiscal and ways of increasing revenues in the next fiscal.
This is for the first time a caretaker government is going to present a full-fledged national budget in absence of the national parliament.
Prof. Wahiduddin Mahmud, who was adviser in-charge of the finance ministry under the 1996 caretaker government, placed a budget for three-months and late President Ziaur Rahman placed a full-fledged budget outside parliament in 1977.
The President under Article 93(3) of the constitution is empowered to promulgate an ordinance authorising expenditure from consolidated fund, "whether the expenditure is charged by the constitution upon that fund or not."
bdnews24.com adds: "This year's revenue growth will near 12 percent," Islam said. "The growth rate hovered around 9.0 percent in the last nine months."
The BNP-led alliance government projected revenue growth of about 21 percent for the current fiscal year, which the finance adviser dubbed as an ambitious target.
The adviser however hoped the revenue growth would increase significantly in the next fiscal year due to the caretaker government's anti-graft drive, a finance ministry official who was present at the meeting told the agency, asking not to be named.
In the nine months to March, revenues earned by the national exchequer recorded Tk 250.52 billion, an increase of only 8.5 percent from the last fiscal year, according to NBR statistics.
The target for the nine months was about Tk 308 billion.
Islam said the government would try to specify budgetary allocations on a regional basis to make public spending transparent.
The adviser indicated that subsidies for agriculture might be increased in the next budget.
UNB adds: The finance adviser said that for the next fiscal year the government would project GDP growth at 7.0 per cent and inflation at 6.5 per cent.
"Taking those into consideration, we will try to increase the revenue-GDP ratio and expand the revenue after counting foreign resources and deficit financing," he told reporters.
From the meeting the government has decided to expand the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) website to infuse transparency in public expenditure.
"There is an allegation that government did not maintain balance in public expenditure in different regions of the country. On the IMED website we will put all the information about the expenditure region-wise and people will monitor the expenditure," he said.
He also apprised that there would be a window in the website for the people concerned to put in their views-one of the measures being taken to bring pecuniary probity in spending people's money.