Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Jatiya Party MP Noman sees no 'benefit' from discussing budget in parliament

  • Parliament Correspondent,
    Published: 2017-06-18 19:57:59 BdST

Jatiya Party lawmaker Mohammad Noman thinks the general discussion in parliament on the proposed budget for fiscal 2017-18 is useless.

On June 1, Finance Minister AMA Muhith unveiled a Tk 4 trillion budget for the new fiscal year. It is scheduled to pass next week.

Joining the discussion in parliament on Sunday, Noman said, "What's the point of this discussion? Whatever we say, the budget will be passed via voice vote anyway."

Many MPs, both from the ruling Awami League and main opposition Jatiya Party, have been criticising a proposed excise duty rates on bank accounts and demanding its withdrawal.

Noman's rant over the general discussion came a day after former bureaucrat Akbar Ali Khan said the implementation of the budget is tough since lawmakers and other stakeholders are left out of its formulation process.

The Jatiya Party MP from Lakshmipur-2 also came down hard on the finance minister saying Muhith was 'negligent' in the budget he proposed.

"He (Muhith) says ‘it’s rubbish’ every now and then. We used to laugh about it before and now people laugh about it. It's difficult to say whether it's his strategy or he does this because of his old age," said Noman.

MPs listen to the proposed national budget for fiscal 2017-18 being presented in parliament on June 1.

JP Secretary General Ruhul Amin Hawlader on Sunday also criticised the 15 percent VAT rate proposal.

"This is unexpected and uncalled-for. Vested quarters are active over the next election, and this VAT proposal in the budget at this time is suicidal.”

Slamming the proposed excise duty rates on bank accounts, Patuakhali-1 MP Hawlader said, "The people are unhappy. Accounts with minimum balance of Tk 100,000 should be kept outside the purview of the excise duty."

JP MP Sayed Abu Hossain Babla, reserved seat MP Amatul Kibria Keya Chowdhury and State Minister for Health Zahid Maleque also criticised the 15 percent uniform VAT rate and increased excise duty on bank accounts and called for their withdrawal during Sunday's discussion.