SAM

Published:
2019-10-14 11:50:43 BdST

Finance minister toughens stance as revenue collection faltersNo more tax exemption facility this fiscal


FT ONLINE

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said on Sunday that the government would implement the fiscal measures for the current year without further amending the tax exemption provision.

He said henceforth no waiver will be offered by issuing statutory regulatory order (SRO).

"The NBR will have to achieve the target for revenue collection. If any changes in the budgetary measures are required, we will bring them in the next budget," he said.

No waiver would be given to the affluent people who can afford to pay the taxes, he added.

He said the exemptions if need be, would be offered only with the approval from the Prime Minister.

The finance minister's resolute stance came at a meeting with the field-level tax, VAT and customs officials at the NBR office in Dhaka.

The meeting was held against the backdrop of the shortfall in tax collection.

Tax collection fell short of the target by Tk 93.18 billion during the July-August period of the current fiscal, recording a poor 3.35 percent growth.

All three wings of the board -- value-added tax, customs and income tax-experienced a shortfall by Tk 53.54 billion, Tk 38.58 billion and Tk 1.06 billion in that order during the period.

The finance minister said the revenue board officials should not give any excuse, rather show their performance by achieving the target.

"Revenue officials should look into the escape, evasion or avoidance of the tax payment," he said.

He said the tax collection target of Tk 3.25 trillion for the current fiscal is achievable in the present context.

"Some 40 million people are eligible for paying income tax. Tough actions will have to be taken against those who are still out of the tax net," he added.

To support the revenue officials for tax collection, the NBR will recruit revenue associates from outside the NBR.

He asked the revenue officials to set up two boxes in the board so that taxpayers can lodge complaints and make suggestions.

Referring to the new building of the NBR, he said the construction would not face any disruption for the absence of a single person.

GK Shamim, who is now arrested in connection with the casino scam, was the contractor of the NBR's own building at Agargoan.

Speaking at the programme, NBR chairman Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said revenue collection growth was 11 percent in July and 3.55 percent in August.

He insisted the flow of tax collection is better in the current fiscal than that of the same period a year earlier.

To increase the tax base, tax officials have started conducting a survey and created the database of some 1.2 million taxpayers, he said.

"We will ask them to submit the tax returns," he said, adding taxmen are taking the initiative to make sure existing TIN holders submit tax returns.

Currently, some 2.2 million taxpayers submit tax returns, which will be increased to 3.0 million by end of this year, he added.

The NBR chairman said after the implementation of the new VAT law, some business people had tried to list themselves in the tax-exempted category.

According to a presentation of the NBR, the target for tax collection has been set expecting a 45.43 percent growth in the current fiscal over the previous fiscal.

The growth in revenue collection has averaged 13.16 percent during the last five years.

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