Budget 2013-2014 - Our Expectations by MCCI & Masranga Television


Budget 2013-2014 - Our Expectations  by MCCI & Masranga Television

MCCI and Masranga Television had organized a pre budget discussion session titled “Budget 2013-2014: Our Expectations” with the Government and the private sector, think tanks, service holders and general citizen of the land. The event was held at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel on 11 May 2013 and telecasted live. Mr. Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, M.P., Honorable Finance Minister of Government of Bangladesh was presented as the Chief Guest. Mr. Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, former Commerce Minister was present as the Special Guest. The discussion was moderated by Ms. Nihad Kabir, former Vice President of MCCI. Mr. Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed, President of FBCCI, Mr. Sabur Khan – President of DCCI, Mr. Fazlul Hoque – former President BKMEA, Dr. Mustafizur Rahman – Executive Director of CPD, Dr. Ahsan H Mansur – Executive Director of PRI, Mr. M. Anis Ud Dowla – former president of MCCI and Chairman of ACI Group, Mr. Syed Nasim Manzur, President of LFMEAB, Dr. Mahabub Hossain - Executive Director of BRAC, Mr. M Tamim – former Adviser to the government, Mr. Moazzem Hossain – Editor of the Financial Express Bangladesh, Mr. Showkat Hossain Masum - News Editor, Prothom Alo and other distinguished personalities were present as panelists and speakers during the live program.

Honorable Finance Minister commented that the upcoming fiscal year’s budget was to be about 13 to14 percent higher than that of current year and expected the growth rate of GDP will be tipped around 7 percent.
He added “Admittedly, the figure sounds highly ambitious for an election year, but this year it will be different. It will be achieved despite the oppositions and difficulties.”
About the power and energy issue the Minister said that the pressure on the economy from power plant rentals would go down soon as few plants are will be stopped this year.
The Finance Minister said about the agricultural subsidies that it would be about Tk 9,000 crore in the upcoming fiscal year.
Mr. Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, former commerce minister, however, expressed his concern with doubt about the level of GDP growth stated by the Finance Minister. He also added that the investment GDP ratio was almost stagnant since last couple of years.
Ms. Rokia Afzal Rahman, president of MCCI hoped that the government would not impose any new tax in the upcoming fiscal year. She added that “The achievement of higher economic growth depends on sound macroeconomic policy and avoidance of confrontational politics. The government plans to start allocating funds for the stalled Padma bridge project from the next budget. But the government should not cut the allocation for agriculture, social safety net and poverty alleviation.” The MCCI president again opposed the possibility of amnesty for black money and urged the government not to provide such opportunity.
The participants pointed out about the infrastructure problem including electricity, finalization of coal policy, inflation, increasing costs of doing business including agricultural inputs, investment, SME development, governance and other issues.