Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal is preparing to present the largest-ever national budget of Tk7.61 lakh crore for the fiscal year 2023-24. This will be the fifth consecutive budget presented by the finance minister and the final one for the current Awami League government.
The budget aims to drive the country’s economic growth in line with Bangladesh’s graduation from the Least Developed Country (LDC) status and fulfill the conditions set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a $4.7 billion loan.
While the government has attempted to strike a balance between revenue collection, public expenditure, and austerity measures, experts and budget officials predict an increase in the government’s reliance on foreign loans due to a revenue shortfall. The finance ministry projects a revenue collection target of Tk5 lakh crore, with a deficit of Tk2.61 lakh crore for FY24. Of this, Tk1.02 lakh crore will be borrowed from external sources, and Tk1.55 crore will be sourced domestically.
The finance minister expects to obtain Tk1.32 lakh crore from the banking system, Tk18,000 crore from savings certificates, and Tk23,000 crore from non-bank sources. The government’s operating expenditure is anticipated to be set at Tk4.75 lakh crore, with a total development cost of Tk2.77 lakh crore.
Economists and analysts have cautioned that the next fiscal year’s budget may face exceptional challenges due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict and its adverse impact on the global economy, which also affects the domestic economy.
The finance minister has allocated Tk2.77 lakh crore for development spending in the upcoming fiscal year. Domestic interest payments will amount to Tk82,000 crore, while interest on foreign loans will reach Tk12,376 crore. Capital expenditure is expected to be Tk39,000 crore, with Tk502 crore allocated for the food sector and Tk8,402 crore designated for loans and advances.
For the financing of the annual development program (ADP), the 2023-24 budget has allocated Tk2.63 lakh crore, along with Tk7,986 crore for non-ADP special projects, Tk2,828 crore for non-ADP food-for-works recipes and transfers, and Tk3,768 crore for schemes not included in the ADP but financed from own source revenue.
In terms of revenue generation, the government aims to generate Tk5 lakh crore, with Tk4.5 lakh crore coming from tax revenue and Tk50,000 crore from non-tax revenue. The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has been tasked with collecting Tk4.3 lakh crore, while non-NBR taxes are targeted at Tk20,000 crore. The government estimates that Tk3,900 crore will be received as foreign grants.
Bangladesh Aims to Enhance Bilateral Ties with South Korea in Trade and Investment
Bangladesh is eager to strengthen its bilateral relations with South Korea, particularly in the realms of trade and investment, in pursuit of realizing the dream of achieving a ‘Golden Bengal,’ as envisioned by the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Md Shahriar Alam, expressed this commitment as the chief guest at a reception commemorating South Korea’s National Foundation Day. The reception, hosted by South Korean Ambassador to Bangladesh Park Young-Sik, took place at a city hotel on Sunday evening.
During his speech, Minister Alam conveyed Dhaka’s contentment with the consistent growth in bilateral trade and investment between Bangladesh and South Korea. He highlighted the 50-year history of robust bilateral relations and expressed optimism about elevating this friendship to a deeper and more comprehensive level of collaboration.
Furthermore, Minister Alam referenced the recent meeting between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and President Yoon Suk Yeol on the sidelines of the G20 Leaders Summit in India, underlining the significance of such high-level engagements.
He reiterated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s vision of establishing a knowledge and technology-based prosperous and intelligent Bangladesh by the year 2041.
Minister Alam also expressed gratitude for South Korea’s prompt recognition of Bangladesh as an independent state shortly after its independence on May 12, 1972.
Vietnam’s National Assembly President Attends Forum in Dhaka for Economic Collaboration with Bangladesh
Vuong Dinh Hue, the President of the Vietnam National Assembly, recently participated in an event held in Dhaka known as the ‘Forum on Policies and Laws to Foster Economic, Trade, and Investment Collaboration between Vietnam and Bangladesh.’ This significant gathering was jointly organized by the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Vietnamese Embassy in Bangladesh, and in cooperation with key entities including the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and the Vietnamese Business Association in Bangladesh.
The forum drew the presence of a distinguished high-level delegation from the Vietnamese National Assembly, alongside prominent figures from the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), and a substantial representation from businesses on both sides. Additionally, various ministries from both Vietnam and Bangladesh were represented.
During the forum, three notable business-to-business Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) were inked. These agreements included collaboration between BMH Vietnam Company and Doreen Group Bangladesh, focusing on investment cooperation, technology transfer, and the advancement of pre-engineered steel production. Another agreement was reached between Bangladesh Vietnam Development Assistance Company and the Bangladesh Pharmaceutical Association, with a specific focus on pharmaceutical exchange. Lastly, Huong Giang Aviation Services and the Bangladesh Tourism Association came together to establish a tourism alliance, marking a significant step in enhancing tourism ties between the two nations.
As part of his official three-day tour, Vuong Dinh Hue visited the state-of-the-art facilities of Beximco Pharma in Tongi, where he received an informative presentation and toured the manufacturing facility.
Bangladesh’s Commitment to SDGs Unshaken Despite Global Challenges, Says PM
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has reaffirmed her government’s unwavering commitment to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), even in the face of challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ukraine war, and the climate crisis. She made this declaration during a meeting with Helen Clark, Chair of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH), at the United Nations Headquarters.
As part of her commitment to healthcare services accessibility for all citizens, PM Sheikh Hasina mentioned the implementation of the National Health Sector Strategic Plan (2011-2030) and a 27% increase in healthcare sector allocations for the current fiscal year 2023-24.
Helen Clark commended Bangladesh’s exceptional progress in healthcare under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visionary leadership, citing the nation’s remarkable achievements in reducing maternal and child mortality rates and ensuring universal healthcare services.
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