While placing national budget in the Parliament on Thursday, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal identified six major challenges for the next fiscal year (FY23) and said the government needs to be pragmatic in addressing these challenges as any failure to address those properly may destabilise the macroeconomic stability.
According to him, the challenges are: 1) containing inflation and enhancing domestic investment; 2) financing additional subsidy required for the increased price of gas, power and fertilizer in international markets; 3) utilizing funds available through foreign assistance and ensuring timely completion of high priority projects of ministries/divisions; 4) ensuring timely completion of projects in education and health sectors; 5) increasing collection of local Value Added Tax and raising the number of individual tax-payers and 6) maintaining stability in the exchange rate of taka and keeping foreign exchange reserves at a comfortable level.
The minister said as in previous years, he consulted with top business organisations, reputed economists, and media personalities as part of budget preparation for the FY2022-2023. Besides, he gathered suggestions on the budget from the Ministries/Divisions and different organisations.
“Our major strategy would be to enhance the supply while reducing the growth in demand. Import- dependent and less important government expenditures will be stopped or reduced. The pace of implementation of the low-priority projects will be lowered while enhancing the implementation of high and medium priority projects,” he observed.
The sales price of fossil fuel, gas, electricity and chemical fertilizers will be adjusted gradually and on a small scale, he said, adding that the automation process regarding tax collection will be expedited with a view to gearing up revenue mobilization activities and VAT and income tax coverage will be expanded, he noted.
The minister said import of luxury and dispensable goods will be restrained and under/over-invoicing will be cautiously monitored. The exchange rate of Taka against the US dollar will be kept competitive.