Bill on allowing government to use Tk 2 lakh crore surplus funds cleared

New AgeJan 20,2020

The designated parliamentary committee on Sunday cleared, without any major change, a bill aimed at allowing the government to use the ‘surplus funds’ of different government agencies for ‘public welfare’.

The Jatiya Sangsad standing committee on finance at a meeting at the JS building gave its nod after examining the bill.

On Tuesday, finance minister Mustafa Kamal placed the bill with the aim to bring to the national exchequer the reserve of the government agencies, including autonomous, semi-autonomous and statutory authorities, and non-financial corporations.

These entities have some Tk 2.12 lakh crore ‘idle money’ lying with different banks.

Abdus Shahid, a member of the JS committee, told New Age that they cleared the bill with the recommendations for making a few grammatical corrections in it and adding a word to a section.

Presided over by committee chair Abul Hassan Mahmood, the meeting was attended, among others, by the finance minister, Mustafizur Rahaman Chowdhury, Kazi Nabil Ahmed, Firoz Kabir and Harunur Rashid.

The bill has been titled Deposition of Surplus Money of Self-Governed Agencies including Autonomous, Semi-Autonomous and Statutory Government Authorities and Public Non-Financial Corporations to the National Exchequer Bill 2020.

Of the idle money, the surplus amounts will be deposited to the national exchequer after keeping aside the operational fund, an additional 25 per cent of the operational fund as emergency fund, and the amounts for general provident fund and pension.

According to the bill, the relevant organisations will be entitled to estimate their operational fund.

After the cabinet approved the draft law, the then cabinet secretary on September 2, while briefing reporters, said that the latest balance of 68 organisations amounting to Tk 2,12,100 crore remained as FDR in different banks and the money was not being used for public welfare.

So, he said, the policy of the government was to take the surplus money to the national exchequer under the proposed law to finance development projects and public welfare.

The cabinet secretary cited five organisations that had maximum amounts of idle money.

Among them, the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation had Tk 21,580 crore idle money, the Petrobangla (Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation) Tk 18,204 crore, the Power Development Board Tk 13,454 crore, the Chattogram Seaport Tk 9,913 crore and the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha Tk 4,030 crore.


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