Simplification, automation and reforms of the taxation system underscored

Business leaders urge for simplification of the taxation system and tax reforms for facilitating the private sector to grow so that they can compete in the international market. 

They said Bangladesh’s economy is quite stable now but there is no scope of being reluctant due to global geo-economic challenges while addressing a live pre-budget (FY2023-24) discussion meeting organized by Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry in association with Daily Samakal and Channel 24 at the BICC on Wednesday.

Salman F. Rahman, MP, Private Sector Industry and Investment Adviser to the Prime Minister was present as chief guest. State Minister for Planning Dr. Shamsul Alam and Md. Shafiul Islam (Mohiuddin), MP were present as special guests. Md. Jashim Uddin, President, FBCCI and A K Azad, Former President, FBCCI were also present as guests of honour.  

DCCI President Barrister Md. Sameer Sattar moderated the live telecast programme. He said only 3 million people submit their tax return every year but the number should be expanded to at least 10 to 20 million. He also requested to reduce at least 2.5% corporate tax for non-listed companies and enhance the tax-free income limit for the individual from the existing 3 lac to 5 lac considering current inflation and cost of living. He later recommended reducing source tax on the interest of companies from 20% to 10%. Regarding the financial sector, he suggested for a long-term roadmap to reduce NPL. 

Salman F. Rahman, MP, Private Sector Industry and Investment Adviser to the Prime Minister said the Russia-Ukraine war, global energy price increase, and interest rate hike by US Fed have impacted our economy. He said due to these reasons Bangladesh Bank has taken cautionary measures in terms of import and LC opening and this is why our reserve is still quite stable. He also hoped that by June this year, the dollar crisis and LC opening issues will be solved. 

He also said that as our tax-to-GDP ratio is not satisfactory and our revenue collection is also low, therefore we have no other alternative but to increase the tax net. He underscored the importance of tax automation, simplification of the taxation system, and the use of technology.

Dr. Shamsul Alam, State Minister for Planning said that inflation control, sustainable economic growth and employment generation, attracting investment, reducing public sector borrowing etc. will get priority in the next budget.  Moreover, considering the global economic downturn and instability, the next budget will not be an over-ambitious one, he added. 

Md. Jashim Uddin, President of, FBCCI said that based on the global unstable economic situation, our private sector is losing their competitiveness which will hurt the whole economy by and large. He hopes that soon the bad culture of red-tapism in the bureaucracy will no longer exist. For the sake of the growth of the backward linkage industry, there should have a policy guideline. He also said that we should not depend only on RMG rather other sectors should get equal benefits.