• Sunday, May 22, 2022
  • Last Update : 03:54 pm

Govt: No fund crisis for tackling Covid-19 pandemic

  • Published at 09:40 pm June 4th, 2021
Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

‘Funds will be readily mobilized for the health sector when necessary’

Agriculture Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque on Friday said the health sector will not face any fund crisis to tackle the Covid-19 situation.

“Funds will be given to the health sector whenever the money is required,” he said at a virtual post-budget press conference.

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal also addressed the press conference, arranged a day after he placed the proposed budget for the 2021-22 fiscal in parliament.

Dr Razzaque said the Finance Ministry also repeatedly assured that "money won’t be a problem", or "allocation won’t matter while facing coronavirus”.

He said the prime minister repeatedly advocated a balance between lives and livelihoods — the cardinal choice for policymakers in the pandemic era. Some on the left, however, pointed to at least the possibility that this is a false dichotomy. 

"If the livelihood is not taken care of, many people will be severely affected or even die [without catching Covid-19]," he added.

The agriculture minister said the country’s economy is now vibrant and on a strong footing amid the growing reserves of foreign currency.

Also Read - Budget FY22: Health sector neglected yet again

“The way the whole world is facing it [Covid-19], I think this government will also face it in that way. Money will not be a problem,” he said.

About the budgetary allocation for the health sector, Finance Secretary Abdur Rouf Talukder said that some Tk14,200 crore has been kept in the proposed budget for procuring Covid-19 vaccines during the upcoming fiscal year.

“We’ll provide the fund, if the health sector needs more money,” he said.

The finance secretary said the budgetary allocation for the Health Services Division has increased by 13.2% for the upcoming fiscal year compared to the outgoing one. But the overall budget size has risen by 6.3%. “So, the growth in the allocation for the health sector is more than double,” he said.

Replying to a question over the inability to spend more money on the health sector, Abdur Rouf said the government identified two problems — lack of capacity among the officials engaged in procurement and mismatch between demand and supply during procurement.

He said the government will address the two problems in the upcoming fiscal year as it is going to take measures to provide training for the officials.

Planning Minister MA Mannan, Prime Minister’s Economic Affairs Adviser Dr Mashiur Rahman, Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir and National Board of Revenue (NBR) Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem, among others, spoke at the conference.

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