Businesses termed the fiscal year 2017-18 budget as investment-friendly but said it would be a huge challenge for the government to implement it.
The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) President Abul Kasem Khan said “The budget is ‘business friendly’ but implementation of such a large budget will be a challenge for the government.”
The DCCI backed the government’s target to increase investment to GDP ratio to 31.09%.
The DCCI President said, “The government has planned to establish 10 SEZs, which is good, but the government needs to put projects related to utility facilities on the fast track.”
“The SEZs are critical to achieving the target set in this budget and all impediments must be removed for faster growth in private investment.”
The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said “all positive and negative things have been included in the budget. However, quality, transparency, accountability and supervision have to be ensured for implementation of the budget. Otherwise, it will be a big challenge to implement.”
“The 15% Value Added Tax (VAT) in the proposed budget would impact our industrial sector,” he also said.
Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) in its initial reaction said the Budget 2017-18, which is 17% higher than that of the last fiscal year’s revised budget, could be helpful to the economy if the implementation strategy works well.
The BGMEA welcomed the budget and hoped that short term projects will be implemented in time, especially in the power generation sector. It hoped that in future, gas and electricity connections will be provided on a priority basis. It also demanded a reduction in corporate tax.
The President of Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) urged the government to revise the VAT (Value Added Tax) rate and keeping it between 12% and 10%.
Mahbubul Alam said, “The VAT rate has been kept unchanged at 15 percent despite repeated pleas from businesses. We ask that the rate be kept between 12% and 10%.”
“The VAT rate at 15 percent is too high and it will have a direct adverse impact on overall prices. The VAT rate is also comparatively low among our neighbouring countries,” added Alam.