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Budget to benefit poor, businesses alike

The budget for the next fiscal year will benefit both the poor and the business community alike of Bangladesh, said Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal today.

"We have formulated the budget keeping in mind the marginalised groups. They will benefit from the budget. The businesses will benefit from the budget. Everyone will benefit from the budget," he said, in his post-budget media briefing at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the capital.

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The finance minister said the whole world is going through a difficult time and Bangladesh is not out of it.

"However, with every challenge comes opportunities. We will utilise the opportunities."

Education Minister Dipu Moni said there is nothing to be disappointed about the budgetary allocation for the education sector.

"Now, we will have to focus on how efficiently we can implement the budgetary allocation."

Agriculture Minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque said foreign reserves are usually deemed satisfactory if they can cover three to four months of imports.

"We have more than $42 billion in reserves. It will cover several months of imports," he said, adding that the economy has been prepared in order to achieve higher growth in gross domestic product.

Zahid Maleque, health and family welfare minister, expressed satisfaction with the allocation for the health sector as well.

He said the budget has put emphasis on research and development, vaccine production and fights against non-communicable diseases and cut the duty on the import of health equipment. 

"Whenever we demanded any money, we have received it from the finance ministry. The finance ministry even released more than $1 billion in a single day."

"I hope the finance ministry and other ministries will keep extending support."

Shamsul Alam, state minister for planning, said the price of fertiliser has not been increased keeping in mind the higher inflationary pressure.

Abdur Rouf Talukder, senior secretary of the finance division, said the work to bring 100 more upazilas under 100 per cent safety net coverage is underway.