Speakers at a pre-budget discussion underscored the need for gearing up the activities of revenue administration's to widen the tax net. They made the observation at the discussion on pre-budget titled ‘National Budget 2022-2023’ organised by the Bangladesh-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BMCCI) at Gulshan Club in the city on Saturday (Apr 9), said a press release.
Syed Almas Kabir, President of BMCCI, chaired and moderated the session. In his welcome address, he said that in the following two years of remittent restriction from the Covid pandemic, Bangladesh and the global economy have restarted in full swinging and this assures dream for Bangladesh with regard to possibilities to revamping domestic demand, employment and most importantly returning back to a path of strong export and remittance led external sector activities.
In light of such a challenging context, he mentioned that the upcoming budget presence and important opportunities for the policymakers to make the fiscal policy changes and resources allocation in such a way that help the Bangladesh position itself well to take advantage of the emerging opportunities and at the same time address the world inabilities.
Referring to the present situation in Sri Lanka, he said that the two economies are different, and export and development trajectories are different.
“Our external debt is low i.e. about 17 percent of our GDP. However, the gap between our export and import remittance versus our imports and outward remittance like loan repayment is drastically reducing,” he added.
Presenting the keynote at the discussion, Chittagong Stock Exchange Chairman Asif Ibrahim said in order to increase investment in the capital market, the opportunity to invest should be provided to the undisclosed money with 10 percent tax (penalty).
Besides, tax concessions need to be given to the listed SME companies, he added.
There is no substitute to ease of doing business, he said, adding that coordination among different government agencies is needed in this regard.
“Coordination between the land registration office and the National Board of Revenue (NBR) has to be increased. In addition, e-TIN should be mandatory for holding tax which would be helpful to collect information about taxpayers' assets,” he added.
Stressing on expanding the tax net, he said the revenue administration's activities have to reach the rural level.
Policy Exchange of Bangladesh Chairman Masrur Reaz said the upcoming budget has to focus on several crucial things.
He said, “The budget should focus on recovery from Covid inflicted damages, keeping the trend of export and acceleration, re-employment by providing incentives, incentives for SME and informal sector business, controlling inflation and controlling the rising government expenditure.”