PM proposes important revisions in tax proposals

Parliament: Prime Minister and Leader of the House Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday proposed the finance minister to reconsider some aspects of the tax regime he placed in parliament for the fiscal year (FY) 2017-2018.

Taking part in the general discussion on the budget, the prime minister proposed continuing the import duty on rice in line with the decision taken by the government recently aimed at containing the rice price

The prime minister also proposed exercise duty on bank deposit in three tires up to Taka one crore instead of the proposal placed by the finance minister in the next year budget.

The foremost important proposal submitted by the prime minister was to hold up the execution of the newly introduced VAT (amendment) Act-2012 for the next two years and keeping the existing VAT system for the period.

“The budget is for the people and we certainly don’t want the public to suffer because of the fiscal plan,” the prime minister said while placing the proposals in the House with Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair.

“We feel proud to call the Awami League government as one of the regimes of development,” Sheikh Hasina said adding for the last eight years the Awami League government has enlarged the size of the budget and taken steps to strengthen revenue collection as well.

The prime minister said Bangladesh has to stand on its own feet through increasing internal revenue collection. A begging nation has no dignity and after 45 years of independence the country cannot depend on others, she said.

The prime minister thanked the country’s business community, investors and cross section people for their help to build a tax, revenue and investment friendly culture in the country.

Sheikh Hasina said her government has created a revenue friendly culture by dint of constant efforts. People are now interested to pay tax and conscious people find one kind of ‘heroism’ in it as taxes are used for country’s development, she added.

However, the prime minister said the ratio of tax and GDP in Bangladesh should be higher as the present proportion is much low. So a mentality should be
developed in people to pay tax, the prime minister said.