The Finance Bill 2023 was passed on Sunday (Jun 25) at the Jatiya Sangbad scrapping the much discussed proposed provision for Tk 2,000 mandatory tax for every TIN holder during submission of their income tax returns. Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal moved the Bill and it was passed in the house by voice vote. The finance minister accepted some other minor proposals on the finance bill at section 2 and 2-ka. The other amendment proposals were cancelled by voice vote, local media reported.
The minister accepted an amendment scrapping specific duty on import of fuel oils by reinstating the previous ad-valorem taxes (tax on value) as concerns grew over a significant hike in prices of petroleum products under the new tax measures.
The specific duty on oil import came into effect on Jun 1, 2023 under the 'Provisional Collection of Taxes Act 1931 (Act No. XVI of 1931) in the Finance Bill placed before parliament on that day.
Customs Duty, VAT and Advance Tax on import of fuels reinstated in the Finance Act 2023 as those were scrapped in the bill.
The proposed value-added tax (VAT) on manufacturing of ballpoint pens cut to 5.0 per cent from 15 per cent.
In the Finance Bill on Jun 1, the Finance Minister had proposed Tk 2,000 as minimum tax on those who even have no taxable income but need to submit tax returns for securing different government services.
Jatiya Party chairman GM Quader, taking part in the budget discussion, said that the proposed budget has preferred the interest of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) compare to the interest of the common people.
The government has imposed exorbitant taxes on the people complying with the conditions provided by the IMF, he said, adding, "Most of the 30 conditions given by the IMF are contrary to the interest of the common people."
Criticizing the proposed budget, Gonoforum lawmaker Mokabbir Khan said due to imposed high tax on the people, the government will be popular for tax friendly.
Terming the proposed budget as highly tax dependent, the opposition lawmaker Barrister Shamim Haider Patwary said the target of tax of the proposed budget has been set Tk 4.30 lakh crore which is creating pressure on the common people due to massive corruption.
Mustafa Kamal thanked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her successful leadership to build the country as smart one by 2041.
Unlike many countries, Bangladesh has not faced negative growth in its gross domestic product despite the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia for the last two years, he said.
The finance minister has set the earning target for the National Board of Revenue at Tk 4.3 lakh crore in the new fiscal year against the overall expenditure target of Tk 6.99 lakh crore, resulting in a 5.2 percent budget deficit.
He said that the government had increased the budget deficit in order to make more public investment for the benefit of the majority people.