The minister said in his speech, “As in previous years, I have consulted with top business organisations, reputed economists, and media personalities as part of budget preparation for the FY2022-2023. Besides, I gathered suggestions on the budget from the ministries/divisions and different organisations. I convey my gratitude to all of them for their support.”

Based on those discussions, the minister pointed out the six major challenges for the next fiscal year as containing inflation and enhancing domestic investment; financing additional subsidy required for the increased price of gas, power and fertiliser in international markets; utilising funds available through foreign assistance and ensuring timely completion of high priority projects of ministries/divisions; ensuring timely completion of projects in education and health sectors; increasing collection of local Value Added Tax (VAT) and raising the number of individual tax-payers and finally maintaining stability in the exchange rate of taka and keeping foreign exchange reserves at a comfortable level.

AHM Mustafa Kamal said the major strategy to address these challenges would be to increase supply and reduce demand. Therefore, the government will have to stop or reduce import-dependent and less important government expenditures. They will also have to slow down the pace of implementation of low-priority projects and instead enhance the implementation of high and medium priority projects.

The finance minister said, “The sales price of fossil fuel, gas, electricity and chemical fertilisers will be adjusted gradually and on a small scale. The automation process regarding tax collection will be expedited with a view to gearing up revenue mobilisation activities and VAT and income tax coverage will be expanded. Import of luxury and dispensable goods will be restrained… The exchange rate of Taka against the US dollar will be kept competitive.”

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