Update 13 সেকেন্ড

Dhaka 7-00 pm, 28-September, 2020

Exercise austerity in spending public money: PM

Mirajul Moin Joy

Expressing concern over mobilisation of funds to implement the fiscal budget in this situation, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday asked all to exercise austerity in spending public money.

“This’s true we’ve given a huge budget…it’s not correct to think we’ll spend all the money right now. This is also a question how much money we’ll be able to provide. So, we’ll keep the expenditures except the very essential ones on hold temporarily reducing the expenses to some extent. We’ll do these (less important expenditures) things when the good days will come back,” she said.

The Prime Minister said this while addressing the inaugural event of the Armed Forces Selection Board-2020 through a videoconference from her official residence Ganobhaban.

The chiefs of the three services and other high officials got connected from their respective headquarters.

About implementation of the national budget 2020-21, Hasina said though it was passed to chase the government’s development targets, it might not be possible to implement it fully if the worldwide economic recession continues or worsen further.

“We might not do so (implement the budget fully) if the worldwide downturn continues or worsens. But we don’t want to fall behind (the target) fearing in advance that we won’t be able to do it. We’ll have all the arrangements and preparations. We’ll do as much as we can. It’s our target,” she said.

Hasina said the government placed this budget as it has a target to make Bangladesh a poverty-free country in the Mujib Borsha (Mujib Year).

She said the government had a target of 8.2 percent GDP growth in the last fiscal year and 7.8 percent growth was also achieved till April last, but it finally came down to 5.8 percent at the end of the last fiscal year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Even then, Hasina added, the government has continued its efforts and extended support to different sectors as much as possible. “So, we’ve not made less allocation in the budget.”

“In the case of expenditures, all will have to spend (from the allocations) in a limited way…. we’ll have to calculate right now how much money we’ll be able to collect and spend in this economic situation. I would like to ask all even our Armed Forces – three services—to do so.”

The Prime Minister said though there was an apprehension that the country’s reserve of foreign currency declined, now it has increased to US$ 39.4 billion.

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