Monday, 16 July 2018

New budget cannot be implemented at all

Dr. A B Mirza Azizul Islam

Dr. A B Mirza Azizul Islam, Former Advisor to the Caretaker Government : The budget for the fiscal year (FY) 2018-19 cannot be implemented at all. Why cannot it be implemented? In recent history, the growth in the government spending lingered at an annual rate of 14-15%, which comparing to the rate in the FY2017-18, this figure will shoot by 35%. There has been no evidence to suggest that the budget will be able to sustain such a large growth. Furthermore, I believe this is an impossible target. I also reserve the same judgment for revenue collection. The target set in that regard is almost impossible to achieve.
In the outgoing fiscal year, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) revenue collection was 80% greater than our own. It has experienced a growth of around 13%, although in the previous fiscal year, the rate was near 20%. This time around, it has been set at over 30% – a target that is impossible to achieve.
What must be done now is to expand the tax net. There has been much debate regarding this; even the finance minister gave his assurance. However, in reality, this has not been applicable.
This is the election year. The government will not take any initiative to bring the people under tax, risking losing their support at such a crucial time. In short, the challenges in implementing the budget are: administrative incompetence, corruption, political influence and lack of accountability.
Based on an interview by Ashiq Rahman, translated by Abrar Hussain

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