Budget: Focus on investment, revenue

Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Sunday hinted of a bigger budget for the upcoming fiscal and said its prime focus would be on drawing more investment and generating more revenue.

Muhith“The size of the next budget will be within Tk 3 lakh crore but the actual figure cannot be divulged now,” Muhith said in the first pre-budget discussion meeting held with the leading economists at National Economic Council (NEC) Auditorium in Dhaka.

The minister, however, did not point a finger towards the government’s GDP growth target for next year – which has been dormant at six percent for the last few years.

“We expected the GDP growth to reach 7 percent benchmark until December last year.” However, in the backdrop of political turmoil in last three months it is doubtful whether the target can be achieved, the finance minister added.

Leading economists, who attended the meeting, agree that the government’s attention should be on luring investment and producing more revenue.

“The main target in the next budget will be to reach seven percent GDP growth – the country has been trapped in the six percent trajectory for long,” Zaidi Sattar, chairman of the Policy Research Institute (PRI), told The Daily Star.

The main focus for this to be achieved has to be on manufacturing sector and both local and foreign trade policy, he added.

Last year, the Awami League government endorsed a Tk 250,506 crore national budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year targeting a growth of 7.3 percent.

– Star Online Report