Opposition MPs on Tuesday in parliament termed the proposed budget for 2022-23 fiscal as unethical.
They said this while participating in the general discussion on the proposed budget.
“This budget is not a problem-solving budget, nor a people-oriented one. This budget will increase the pressure on the middle class. It is an unethical budget that has given the opportunity to bring back the laundered money without any question,” Jatiya Party lawmaker Shameem Haider Patwari said.
Coming down heavily on Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, the Jatiya Party MP said, "This budget is a business-friendly and plastic-friendly budget. It is also a tobacco company-friendly budget."
He also said the proposed budget has a huge deficit. The budget has said that Tk 98,000 crore will be collected from foreign sources which seems impossible.
“This budget will put pressure on banks, employment and small and medium loans.”
He proposed to increase the tax-free income limit to Tk 5 lakh, increase the capacity of NBR, increase tax capacity, increase the incentive for expatriate income to 5 percent, provide pension to expatriates, and give importance to creating skilled manpower.
He also strongly criticized Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen for his unprofessional attitude in dealing with journalists.
BNP MP Zahidur Rahman said the budget was formulated to bring back the smuggled money of money launderers safely.
“This budget is aimed at giving a chance to the beneficiaries and a number of dishonest businessmen to smuggle money,” he said.
He said the proposal to give money smugglers a chance to get their money back with nominal taxes is unethical.
The BNP MP also said giving the opportunity to legalize laundered money is not justifiable from any economic, political or moral point of view.
He demanded to identify the money launderers and confiscate their assets.
Describing the proposed budget as ambitious, the BNP MP said it was not possible to implement the budget.
“There is no effective strategy in this budget to reduce the prices of daily necessities.”
Awami League MP Saber Hossain Chowdhury said, there are many positive aspects in the budget. However, the issue of air pollution should have been included in this budget.
"We make laws here but how much are the people getting its benefits? There are 29 lakh cases pending at different courts. We want to see initiatives and guidance in this regard in the budget,” Saber Hossain said.
Calling for action to control tobacco, Saber Hossain said that 1.60 lakh people die prematurely in Bangladesh every year due to tobacco.
The ruling party lawmaker price of cigarettes is increased every year and taxes are levied on it. But companies are making more money without increasing production costs as a result the government is losing three thousand crore Taka.
He also said the Prime Minister has announced to make Bangladesh tobacco-free by 2040. But the way it is going, the country will not be tobacco-free even in 2080.
Saber Hossain Chowdhury said: "We did not come to the parliament to increase the profit of the tobacco company. We belong to the government party. I was selected with electoral symbol of boat. We stand by every decision of the government. I support that. But when such a situation arises, we have to choose. There is obviously a conflict in the initial proposal of the budget. Then what will we do? Shall we abstain from voting? We don't want that. We want to fully support the budget proposal of the finance minister.”
Ruling AL MPs-Abdus Sobhan, Aroma Dutta, Anwarul Abedin Khan, among others highly lauded the budget terming it pro-people and visionary.