In response to the demands of the business community, National Board of Revenue (NBR) Chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan has said the government is considering the provision of bonded warehouse facilities for new export oriented products.
“We wish to increase the number of commodities in our export basket. For that reason we welcome new items for export. I welcome entrepreneurs who are manufacturing new export items and we are thinking of giving them bonded warehouse facilities. Any item which is non-traditional for our consumption can be exported,” said Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan.
The NBR chairman made the comment while speaking as the chief guest at the Quarterly Luncheon Meeting of the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) in Dhaka on Wednesday.
Mosharraf also sought the support of the business community to increase coverage of the tax net and the GDP ratio, in order to sustain Bangladesh’s development.
“The GDP growth is mostly attributed to the flourishing of investment and business. As we need more investment, we have to increase the tax base and make our people tax compliant,” the NBR chairman said.
Mosharraf Hossain, also senior secretary of the Internal Resources Division, added that the government will have to increase revenue collection to maintain steady economic growth.
He further said the government is likely to reduce corporate tax in the upcoming national budget, as per the demands of business community.
“We are thinking about corporate tax and multilayer issues that have come up in the discussions with Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), MCCI and others trade bodies,” he added.
Though the new VAT law has been postponed for next two years, Mosharraf Hossain said collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) is continuing.
“We are trying to make it convenient for the businesses. Instead of one rate, we will experiment with several rates,” he added.
MCCI President Nihad Kabir also spoke on the occasion.
She said revenue collection in Bangladesh remains dependent on indirect taxes, import duties, excise duties, and other supplementary duties, and that the MCCI would like to see necessary steps to boost the economy.
“We would opt for an improvement of the physical infrastructure, including electricity and fuel allocation. We would also like initiatives to provide the necessary education and skill development for employees,” she added.
The MCCI president further said there should be a focus on building specialized economic zones, as well as projects that benefit industries such as the development of high-tech IT parks, leather villages with active central effluent treatment plants, and low-cost broadband connections.
She also stressed the provision of support for the pharmaceutical industry through the creation of Active Pharmaceutical Industry (API) parks.
“In order to aid all these projects in coming to fruition, we will need to work together, and we have to start right in order to achieve some synergistic effects,” the MCCI president added.
Nihad Kabir further said: “The Finance Act 2017 introduced a new subsection under Section 30 of the Income Tax Ordinance 1984. Under this subsection, the employer has been made responsible for ensuring the filing of income tax returns by its employees. Failure to do so will result in the treatment of the salary and other benefits to the employee as non-permissible expenses of the organization. Such provisions are contrary to tax policy and natural justice.
“Submitting tax returns on time should be the responsibility of the taxpayer and not the employer. We believe that a legal business conducting itself properly should not be punished for the wrongdoing of individual employees who themselves are supposed to follow the law of the land. We would sincerely request that the NBR chairman withdraw the newly-inserted subsection.”
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