Tk 66,234 cr for agriculture and rural development
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Thursday proposed an allocation of Tk. 66,234 crore for the agriculture and rural development sector in FY 2019-20, which was Tk. 59,677 crore in the current fiscal year 2018-19.
The minister made the proposal while unveiling his maiden budget for the fiscal year 2019-20 in the parliament this afternoon.
“Agriculture is vital to our national economy; 40.62 percent of total labour force is employed in this sector. Despite a gradual reduction in cultivable land, the average growth of agriculture sector stood at 3.7 percent over the last 10 years owing to sincere efforts from the government and relentless hard work of the farmers.
Today, Bangladesh has secured the fourth position in rice production and the third position in vegetable production. In addition, we are in the 7th position in mango production and 8th in potato production,” the minister said.
He said, “We will continue successful interventions, such as agricultural subsidies, other agricultural input incentives and support cards including those for fertilizers and seeds, support for agricultural rehabilitation, agriculture credit at easy terms, etc.
For agricultural development, a 20 percent cash incentive for exports of agricultural products is being provided in addition to general investment made for agricultural development, and a 20 percent rebate on electricity bills is provided for the electricity use in irrigation pumps. The number of farmers holding agricultural support cards now is 2 crore 8 lakh 13 thousand 477.”
“The government has taken strong steps to ensure food security. Apart from introducing the Food Safety Act, 2013, we have formulated 6 sets of regulations and 2 sets of rules for implementation of the law. In addition, a new food and nutrition policy is being formulated,” the minister added.