AL MP questions provision of legalising undisclosed moneyStaff Correspondent
Ruling Awami League lawmaker Mujibul Haque on Thursday demanded an amendment to the constitution to ensure lawmakers’ participation in preparing the national budget, lamenting that they had no role to play in preparing the budget.
The government has failed to bring the killers of the journalist couple, Sagar Sarwar and Meherun Runi, to justice, he alleged and asked the home minister to improve law and order situation in the country.
Khan Tipu Sultan, another AL MP, questioned the government’s proposal for whitening undisclosed money in the national budget for the next fiscal year.
They were taking part in the general discussion on the proposed budget for 2012-13 fiscal year.
Demanding constitutional amendment to ensure the MPs’ specific role in preparing the budget, Haque said, ‘I don’t know what role I play as an MP in preparing the national budget.’
According to the constitutional provision, he said, a lawmaker can only either accept the budget or reject it besides giving some suggestions on it.
‘None of my suggestions I put forth since 1986 was incorporated in the budget,’ he added.
Turning to the country’s law and order situation, he said, ‘It is a failure of the government that it could bring the killers of Sagar-Runi to book yet.’
Asking the government to take necessary steps to alleviate load-shedding, he criticized the prime minister’s energy adviser, Tawfiq-e-Elahi, for his remark that speaking against rental power plant is a ‘seditious offence.’
‘I spoke nothing about the rental power plant outside parliament fearing being charged with making seditious offence,’ he added.
He also asked the government to stop providing cars [private] with the compressed natural gas to reduce pressure on the rapidly depleting natural gas.
Tipu Sultan said the proposed budget would be possible to implement only if corruption is reduced and efficiency of the administration is increased with ensuring social justice.
‘The people have raised question as to why the provision for whitening the undisclosed money has been kept in the proposed budget and who will be benefited from the proposed provision,’ said Tipu Sultan.
‘The finance minister, Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, must give a clarification on it,’ he added.
The lawmaker also criticised the finance minister for not making the government’s stand clear on the coal policy in his budget proposal.
Claiming that there were few mismatches in the statistics in the proposed budget, he also raised question about proposing the budget with a huge deficit.
He asked the government to weigh the loss and the benefit from the foreign aid that Bangladesh receives. ‘The country is incurring losses instead of making benefits from the foreign aid.’
He also warned the government against its proposal for borrowing some Tk 23,000 crore from banks in the next fiscal year, saying it might put the country’s economy under stress.
He said the country has experienced a reduction in investment in the current fiscal.
Tipu and parliament whip Abdul Wahab urged the government for solving the water logging problems through Tidal River Management system.
Another ruling party lawmaker, Sayedul Haque, asked the finance minister to clarify how the budget deficit would be offset.
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