Bangladesh Government employees who are expecting a new pay scale in the upcoming budget of fiscal year 2023-24, have to be satisfied with a maximum 20 percent dearness allowance (DA).
Highest importance has been given to the stability of the macro economy of the country in the next budget. The prime minister will finalize the budget proposal in a meeting to be held in the second week of May, finance ministry sources said.
The ministry, as per the direction of the prime minister, has set a total budget of Tk 759,955 crore for FY 2023-24. Highest allocations have been kept for interest payment and subsidy expenditure.
A proposal for a special allowance has been prepared, taking into account the price hike of essentials due to the ongoing inflation, sources said.
Officials directly involved in budget formulation have confirmed that there will be no new pay scale. The upcoming election year budget is the last budget of the current government.
In the new budget, there is no allocation for the nationalization of schools and colleges or the inclusion of MPOs, said officials of the finance department.
Officials of the finance ministry said that government employees had been expecting a new pay scale in the upcoming budget for a long time, but the prime minister rejected it.
In the current fiscal year 2022-23, the government has reduced expenditure in various sectors. Over Tk 1,000 crore has been saved from salaries and allowances (foreign travel) of government employees.
The total allocation for salaries and allowances in the revised budget for the financial year 2022-23 was Tk 73,173 crore. However, the finance department has estimated an allocation of Tk 77,000 crore for salaries and allowances in the upcoming fiscal year.
The government usually announces new pay scale every five years. After implementing the seventh pay scale in 2009, the government implemented a new pay scale in 2015 by increasing the salary by almost 100 percent. Since then, government employees are getting a 5 percent increment every year in July.
Eight years have passed since then and different organizations of government employees are demanding a new pay scale, citing the price hike of goods, including food, due to the Ukraine-Russia war.
According to official documents, in the new budget, subsidy expenses would take up Tk 100,134 crore. The total revenue collection target would be Tk 500,000 crore, which is 15 percent more than that of this fiscal year.
Of the sum, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) has been tasked with fetching Tk 430,000 crore, which is 16.2 percent more than this year.
Bangladesh's Annual Development Program (ADP) has been set at Tk 263,000 crore while expected GDP growth is 7.5 percent. The estimated inflation has been set at 6 percent that was 5.6 percent in the budget of 2022-23.