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Catholics welcome 'challenging' budget

Everything 'will depend on proper implementation and better collection of taxes' reporter, Dhaka

June 14, 2011

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Catholics have termed proposed national budget for 2011-12 fiscal year ‘overall good’ but warned that its implementation will be challenging for government. “The budget is huge and I appreciate it. But everything will depend on proper implementation,” said Caritas Bangladesh  executive director Benedict Alo D’Rozario yesterday. D’Rozario said the budget proposed strengthening the education and agricultural sectors for internal development and also emphasized power generation. But he said taxation will be most the challenging matter for the budget as it largely depends on increasing revenue collection. He criticized it for not having any clear outline or initiative to attract investments or develop an investment-friendly environment. Finance minister AMA Muhith on June 9 presented a budget of 1.64 trillion taka (US$ 23.67 billion) for the year beginning July 1. The proposed net outlay is nearly 26 percent higher than the current budget. “I welcome increasing tax on luxury goods and cigarettes that will reduce their usage. The most interesting thing is that for the first time ministers and government officials will have to pay tax from their own pocket,” added D’Rozario. He said that when the government met NGO heads to get their opinion on the budget he said that budget implementers should have moral and ethical training. Nirmol Rozario, 51, a Catholic banker, also welcomed the budget but warned that inflation and price hikes will be challenges.
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