Parliament passes budget for fiscal 2012-13

Twenty-one days after it was placed by the Finance Minister, Parliament on Thursday passed the Tk 191, 738 crore national budget for fiscal 2012-13 in absence of the opposition.

The budget went through parliament with the adoption of the Appropriations Bill 2012.

Finance Minister AMA Muhith moved the Appropriations Bill seeking budgetary allocations of Tk 283599, 65, 50, 000 which the House passed by voice vote.

Earlier, parliament rejected by voice vote a total of 806 cut motions that stood in the name of opposition and independent members on 56 demands seeking grants for different ministries.

Barring the cut motions placed by lone independent MP M Fazlul Azim (Noakhali-6), the other cut motions were not moved.

Azim, who submitted 56 cut motions, was allowed to move only eight motions on the Cabinet Division, Election Commission, Public Administration Ministry, Foreign Ministry, Science and Technology Ministry, LGRD and Cooperatives Ministry, Forest and Environment Ministry and Civil Aviation Ministry.

Later, Speaker Abdul Hamid applied guillotine to quicken the process of passing the demands for grants for different ministries without giving the usual lunch break.

Earlier, on Wednesday, the House passed the Finance Bill 2012 with some revisions of tax proposals, including tax-free income limit, tax at source on exports and tax on mobile phone calls.

Considering the proposals from the lawmakers, including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Finance Minister AMA Muhith increased the tax-free income ceiling to Tk 2 lakh from the earlier proposed Tk 1.80 lakh.

The tax-free income limit, according to the revised decision, will be Tk 2.24 lakh and Tk 2.75 lakh respectively for the senior citizens and the people with disabilities. “However, the minimum income tax will remain unchanged at Tk 3,000.”

Muhith also brought down tax at source on all types of exports at 0.8 percent from the earlier proposed 1.2 percent to keep the export growth unhurt.

The Finance Minister withdrew 2 percent tax proposal on mobile phone talk-time as most of the lawmakers, including the Prime Minister, requested the minister to withdraw it.

News Source: