November 27, 2022, 9:12 pm


Staff Correspondent

Published:
2022-11-21 18:28:43 BdST

HC issues rules over huge VAT embezzlement in Cox’s Bazar


The High Court (HC) on Monday issued a rule asking the government to explain why its inaction to take action against the responsible of those who were involved in embezzling thousands of crore taka of value-added tax (VAT) of Cox’s Bazar Customs, Excise, and VAT and the hotels/restaurants should not be declared illegal.

In response to a writ petition, a High Court bench comprising Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Khizir Hayat issued the rule.

All concerned institutions including the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) have been made respondents to reply to the rule within four weeks.

Advocate Ishrat Jahan and Advocate Md Shamsuddoha appeared for the petitioner while Advocate Khurshid Alam Khan moved for the ACC and Deputy Attorney General AKM Amin Uddin Manik represented the state during the hearing on the petition.

Earlier on November 16, a report was published in a national daily under the title “VAT worth thousands of crores lost”.

Advocate Ishrat Jahan and Advocate Md Shamsuddoha filed a writ at the High Court on Monday after annexing the report seeking HC directive in this regard.

According to the report, Cox’s Bazar Customs, Excise and VAT division and hotels/restaurants are misappropriating thousands of crores of VAT collected from customers.

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Chattogram Integrated District Office-2 investigation has revealed that many hotels and restaurants in Cox’s Bazar are not paying VAT.

Most hotels do not even keep guest entries at the registrar or list room rents. Many hotels maintain multiple registrars, one for the owners and one for the revenue officials.

Besides, hotels/restaurants do not use VAT form. They are only paying a minimum VAT on a monthly basis by bribing VAT officials. The government is losing a huge amount of money in this way.

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