No proposal made for dearness allowance in upcoming budget

Finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has not made any proposals for the allocation of dearness allowance for government employees during a meeting with prime minister Sheikh Hasina on the upcoming budget.

The meeting held at the prime minister's official residence Ganabhaban on Wednesday night discussed issues pertaining to the budget for 2023-24 fiscal year.

Sources said the prime minister laid emphasis on increasing the monitoring system to increase the rate of implementation of the Annual Development Programme (ADP), holding on to foreign currency reserves and increasing income of foreign currency through legal channels. The prime minister approved the summary of the next budget during the meeting.

Earlier the sources at the finance division of the ministry told Prothom Alo that the issue of dearness allowance for the government employees might be discussed during the meeting.

Sources said no proposal for dearness allowance was made in the budget preparation. Yet the finance division estimated the additional money required if the finance minister or someone else brought the issue of dearness allowance and the prime minister approved. In that case, the finance division kept three options in mind-- 10 per cent, 15 per cent or 20 per cent dearness allowance.

The total allocation for salaries and allowances for the next budget was estimated to be Tk 770 billion. This cost was supposed to be increased by Tk 40 billion if 10 per cent DA was fixed, Tk 60 billion for 15 per cent and Tk 80 billion for a 20 per cent DA, as per the estimation made by the finance division.

The government employees get salary as per a pay scale implemented in 2015. A commission led by Mohammed Farashuddin proposed the pay scale raising the salary by almost 100 per cent. The commission proposed that no new commission would be formed and employees would get a 5 per cent increment every year.