The finance ministry is going to start discussions with economists and business bodies virtually, amid the fresh COVID-19 shutdown, to prepare the budget for the next fiscal year which will be placed in the parliament in June.
Finance Division officials said that the inaugural meeting was scheduled for April 8, the third day of the seven-day shutdown that the government is enforcing from today to check the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases that hit a daily record of 7,087 on Sunday, over a year after the detection of the first cases in the country on March 8, 2020.
Trade bodies like the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry while associations like the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association will take part in the first meeting, which will be presided over by finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal.
The second virtual meeting will be held on March 11 with the participation of economists.
The date of the meeting between the finance minister and editors of print and electronic media is yet to be set, said finance division officials.
They said that the finance minister would also hold meetings with other stakeholders, including members of the parliament and parliamentary standing committees.
The National Board of Revenue has been holding pre-budget discussions with stakeholders, including trade bodies, business associations and research and professional organisations, since March 1.
The Finance Division in the past year scrapped its pre-budget discussions due to the COVID-19 outbreak.