JS-32 Tk 1,656cr allocated for Foreign Ministry

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JS-32

BUDGET-FOREIGN-AFFAIRS

Tk 1,656cr allocated for Foreign Ministry

DHAKA, June 3, 2021 (BSS) – An allocation of Taka 1,656 crore has been made for the Foreign Affairs Ministry in the budget proposed for 2021-22 fiscal.

The allocation in the proposed budget is Taka 133 crore more than the revised budget of 2020-21 fiscal that was Taka 1,523 crore. The proposed budget of the fiscal 2020-21 for foreign affairs ministry was Taka 1,633 crore.

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal made the announcement while placing the budget for the new financial year before the Jatiya Sangsad today amid the unprecedented consequences of COVID-19 pandemic.

At his speech, the finance minister said Bangladesh has now earned a respectable position in the world.

During the celebration of birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the golden jubilee of the country’s independence, Kamal said, world leaders strongly praised the progress of Bangladesh.

The finance minister mentioned that heads of state and heads of government from various countries, including the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, President of Maldives Ibrahim Mohammed Salih, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of Nepal Vidya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister of Bhutan Lotte Shering were present in person during the celebration.

Besides, he mentioned, many sent congratulatory notes and video messages that included UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, US President Joe Biden, Russian President Vladimir Putin, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Indian Congress President Sonia Gandhi, OIC Secretary General Yousef Ahmed al-Othaimeen, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Pope Francis, South Korean Prime Minister Chung Su-quen, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, and Jordan’s King Abdullah al-Hussein.

“These world leaders have asked to follow the path of Bangabandhu’s ideology at a time when the whole world is in turmoil due to the Corona pandemic,” he said.

The finance minister said the global figures praised the achievements of Bangladesh in the 50 years of independence while they committed and hoped to become partners in Bangladesh’s future progress.

Kamal said Bangladesh has adopted the policy of executing bilateral Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) to address potential challenges in global trade after the transition from the least developed countries.

Bangladesh signed a bilateral PTA with Bhutan on December 6, 2020 while PTA negotiations with Nepal are at the final stage, he said.

Kamal also informed that significant progress has also been made in formal talks aimed at signing a bilateral PTA with Indonesia and work on a joint study aimed at conducting a free trade agreement with Sri Lanka is at the final stage.

In addition, he said, for the signing of FTA/PTA, feasibility studies to assess trade potentials in different countries, such as Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, Eurasian Economic Commission have been completed while Bangladesh’s feasibility of signing trade agreements with China, Myanmar, Nigeria, Mali, Macedonia, Mauritius, Jordan, USA, Iraq and Lebanon is being explored.

The minister said there is an initiative to conduct a joint feasibility study on the proposed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between Bangladesh and India.

To reduce trade deficit, the finance minister said, measures are being taken to remove tariff and non-tariff barriers by executing bilateral trade agreements. Such agreements have already been signed with 44 countries, he added.

Kamal also mentioned that the government has taken various steps to ensure the exploration, extraction and sustainable use of resources in the Bay of Bengal.

BSS/ASG/TA/GA/1844 hrs