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Energy, Power, Agriculture & Inflation Get Priority In Next Budget


In the starting of the meeting the Finance Minister informed the audience that the total budget will be around Tk 130,000 crore including a Tk 40,000 crore ADP for the next fiscal year. The projected GDP growth is 6.5. Muhit also talked about the inflation and he informed inflation will remain "stable".

The editors expressed their huge concern about the current power crisis in Bangladesh. Responding to their concern the Finance Minister said that the government has to give subsidy. "The economy has to pay. Power must be supplied at any cost." The Finance minister informed the editors that the highest emphasis would be given on energy and power sector. He said, there would be a "slight variation" in the normal procurement policy regarding power and energy.

Among others editor of The Independent Mahbubul Alam, acting editor of the daily Sangbad Khondokar Moniruzzaman, Shykh Seraj from Channel I, Deputy Editor of the Financial Express Shamsul Haque Zahid, Editor-in-Chief of the bdnews24.com Toufique Imroze Khalidi, Joint Editor of the Daily Prothom Alo Abdul Quiyyum, Shyamol Datta of the daily Bhorer Kagoj, Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr. Atiur Rahman, Finance Secretary Dr. Mohammad Tareq, Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, National Board of Revenue (NBR) Chairman Dr Nasiruddin Ahmed, and acting secretary of Banking and Financial Institutions Division Shafiqur Rahman Patwary also attended the meeting.

Mahbubul Alam, editor of the daily Independent emphasized the issue of connectivity as it hampers investments and other economic activities of the country.

Khondokar Maniruzzaman and Shyamal Dutta raise concern about the problem in agriculture section. They marked agriculture as the key to controlling food inflation. Channel I corresponded Dr. Shykh Seraj proposed to setting up a body which will fix the target of farm output as well as handle procurement. He also suggested the body should be strictly monitored by the government. Siraj also complained that the farmers are not getting enough as cost of irrigation was high this year.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi, editor-in-chief of bdnews24.com questioned the necessity of providing tax-free cars to MPs. Bhorer Kagoj's Shyamal Dutta also expressed his concern about that issue. But Muhith strongly defended and informed the audience that the MPs need transportation as they are engaged in "public welfare".  He also questioned to editors that, “Why they should not be given the facility?”

The daily Inqilab city editor Zakaria Kajol and Swadesh Roy of the daily Janakantha also took part in the discussion.

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Key words: Finance, Budget report, financial discussion, budget news, Bangladesh economy, Bangladesh Budget 2010, Bangladesh Pre-Budget Talk

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