National budget

O H Kabir, Dhaka
After our independence the first national budget for the financial year 1972-1973 presented by then Finance Minister Tajuddin Ahmed amounted to Taka 786 crore only. Today in 2010-2011 financial year our national budget stands at Tk. 1,32,170 crore. Is it not a colossal, ambitious and challenging budget?

We would request our learned Finance Minister AMA Muhith to let us know what steps he has taken in the light of his budget for the year 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 to fulfil the pledge of the Awami League government for “Din Badaler Pala” and Digital Bangladesh 2021.

Since the Awami League government came to power after winning a massive election victory we do no find any “Din Badaler Pala”- Charter of Change, any Digital Bangladesh. We find ourselves in the mist of “As it is, where it is” of the past rule of BNP govt. followed by caretaker govt. some years ago. In some cases the sufferings and hardships of the common people have increased. The rich are getting richer and the poor are becoming poorer. The income, salary and luxury of the rich and affluent persons, political leaders of the govt. and opposition, bureaucrats, industrialists, traders and contractors have increased. They are spending more and more money on construction and renovation of their new and old houses, purchasing cars, air-conditions, electric generators, IPS, many luxurious items, visiting foreign countries and what not. Whereas the poor and middle class people are struck with price hike of essential goods, commodities and services, their housing, education and medical expenses of their children and family members, acute shortage of electricity and load shedding problems.

We understand that our government is contemplating and undertaking many giant development projects like Padma Bridge, underground railway, expressway, flyovers, widening Chittagong-Dhaka highway and so and so forth. We however feel that our most important and immediate requirement is adequate supply of electricity and total avoidance of lead shedding. This problem should be solved by our govt. on top priority basis considering our colossal financial losses in trade, commerce, industry, education of our children, office works etc. etc.

We are disappointed and shocked that we could not watch/listen the full text of budget speech of our Finance Minister AMA Muhith in our Jatiya Sangsad over TV and radio due to electricity failure and frequent load shedding.

We need accountability and transparency of our all govt. expenditures, ban on misuse of public money, stoppage of illegal toll collection, bribe and corruption.

We demand that our national budget must be realistic, practical and people’s welfare oriented.

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