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Budget revision meetings start January 10

The Finance Division is scheduled to start its meetings on January 10 with other ministries and divisions to revise down the current fiscal budget by 5.28 per cent due to the lingering COVID-19 prevalence.

The size of the current fiscal budget announced last June is Tk 5.68 lakh crore.

The meetings with 10 ministries and divisions, including the road transport and bridges ministry, the local government, rural development and co-operatives ministry and the education ministry, responsible for implementing the major portion of the budget will be held in the early stage.

The budget revision will be carried out as per a Finance Division directive already issued to the ministries and divisions, additional secretary Nazma Mobarek of the Finance Division told New Age on Saturday.

The Finance Division on December 15asked the ministries and divisions not to place any demand for extra fund and not to transfer any unspent money under the development budget for other purposes.

They have also been asked not to spend more than half the allocation meant for travel allowances.

The Finance Division has also asked the ministries and divisions to keep the spending limit at 75 per cent of the development budget, which is worth Tk 2,15,043 crore.

It has reminded the ministries and divisions of complying with the decision that bars purchase of vehicles in the current fiscal year amid the COVID-19 prevalence.

Low revenue generation amid the ongoing economic slowdown makes budget revision a challenging job, said Nazma Mobarek.

On Thursday, an online meeting of the Coordination Council on Macro-Economy and Budget Management, chaired by finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, expressed worry over the paltry revenue growth of 3.61 per cent in July–October of the FY21 compared to the same period of FY20.

The National Board of Revenue has delayed the installation of electronic fiscal devices resulting in the poor collection of value added tax.

The VAT growth rate hovered around 1 per cent in the first four months of the current fiscal year against a 5 per cent growth in the custom duty collection and 4.9 per cent growth in the income tax receipts.

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