Budget won’t spike prices of essential commodities: Finance Minister Kamal

“We have not included any component in the budget of FY2019-20 that “may cause a price spiral for essential commodities,” he said while presenting the proposed budget in parliament on Thursday.

He unveiled a Tk 5.23 trillion spending plan for fiscal 2019-20, which is an 18 percent increase from the revised budget of the outgoing fiscal year.

He stressed tax collection as the ratio of Bangladesh’s national revenue collection to GDP is lower than that of other countries.

“From now on, we are determined to raise the ratio from its current 10 percent to 14 percent in next two years,” he said, in the speech of his budget titled “Bangladesh on a Pathway to Prosperity Time is Ours, Time for Bangladesh”.

“A culture has been established in our revenue domain for a long time; that is, those who pay taxes to the government, only continue to do so every year.

“Others, despite having taxable income, continue to evade payment of taxes. We also want to get out of this bad culture. All eligible taxpayers will be brought under the tax net,” the finance minister said.

There are 40 million people in Bangladesh who are included in the middle income group. However, the number of taxpayers is only 2.1-2.2 million.

The minister aims to take the number to 10 million at the earliest possible time.