(BNP Communication) — The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has formally rejected finance minister Muhith’s proposed national budget, saying the government had placed a “highly ambitious budget for plundering.”

“It’s a budget for looting which has created scope for ruling Awami League leaders and activists to steal public money,” BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir alleged at a press briefing Sunday at party chief Khaleda Zia’s Gulshan office.

The senior BNP leader also criticised the government for “imposing additional VAT (Value Added Tax) burden on the people and using this money for non-development activities.”

“The ruling party has been using the national budget as a political tool. That’s why it has been coming up with highly ambitious and impractical budgets one after the other,” the BNP secretary general alleged further.

 “The government is yet to implement 55-60% of the last budget, so what is the ground for placing such a big budget?” he asked the government.

The BNP leader also claimed that there was no indication in the proposed budget how the government had planned to tackle the unemployment problem.

He asserted that investment would not be boosted in the country due to the budget.

“The budget was placed only to ensure the interest of the ruling party looters. The poor people of the country will not be benefited by the budget,” he added.

The party strongly criticised the increase in the prices of essential commodities including rice.

Mirza Alamgir said the AL government had lost to control over the prices of essential commodities. “Rice price has risen by 4.6% within a month.”

He added: “The GDP growth rate is also questionable. The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics shows the GDP in Bangladesh expanded 7.24% in 2016-7 from the previous year. But the World Bank has said it is 6.8%.”