Muhith, businessmen trade hot words on new VAT law
Published : Monday, 1 May, 2017 at 12:00 AM Count : 389
Finance Minister AMA Muhith and a forum of businessmen on Sunday exchanged heated words over the new VAT law.
The debate took place in a pre-budget discussion organized by the National Board of Revenue (NBR) held at Bangabandhu International Conference Center in the city.
The argument started when Abu Motaleb, General Secretary of Businessman Unity Forum, alleged that NBR and FBCCI jointly worked on VAT system but this shows no result. No initiatives were taken to train the businessmen in this regard, the general secretary alleged.
The government delayed the implementation of the new VAT law in the face of protest from small and medium businesses, Motaleb said. "Now you are placing the budget again. "If we can take the streets like students, then you (government) will fail," he added.
At one stage of the meeting, businessman Abu Motaleb also Chairman of Bangladesh Plastic Packaging Association said, "If the demands are not met, then the movement will go down on the streets. After this statement, the Finance Minister expressed anger over the traders and said that they cannot do anything by movement. After the intervention of FBCCI President Matlub Ahmed and Vice- President Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, the situation was calm.
In reply, Muhith said, "It is not language of talks. It is the language of war. It is like threat. If you wage movement we will prevent it." At this time, Muhith, being angry, said, "At present there are 8 lac 64 thousand registered tax-payers in the country. Among them, 32 thousand have submitted return. Give me the list of taxpayers related to your small and medium industry who have submitted return. How many of you submit VAT?"
The minister said, "Nothing will be gained by movement. If you go for movement, it will be suppressed."
The minister said, "We are going to discuss today. But Abdul Motalib is threatening. I have not liked the words. Abdul Motalib should take back his words. We are discussing here and there will be no gain by announcing war."
The minister's speech created a chaotic situation as businessmen started shouting at him. Later, Muhith said Motaleb cannot talk like this and he should withdraw his comments.
However, the Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), a leading organization of traders, has proposed introducing tax-free income limit of Tk 3.25 lakh in the next fiscal year's budget. FBCCI President Abdul Matlub Ahmad gave the proposal in the speech.
The FBBCI President underscored the need for reducing the corporate tax to operate the business smmothly.
He said, "The tax-free income limit of taxpayers is now Tk 2,50,000. Considering the cost of living and inflation of the people, we propose to increase the amount of Tk. 3.25 lakh. '
He also said, 'Income tax or direct tax guarantees social justice. Most of the developed and developing countries receive most from direct taxes. The ratio of direct and indirect taxes in Bangladesh is less than many South Asian countries. Direct tax contributions in Malaysia are 75 percent, Pakistan 37 percent, India 56 percent and Bangladesh 30 percent. '
Matlub said, "The number of e-TIN has exceeded 28 lakh this year. The Income Tax Department has proposed to increase revenue by bringing them income tax returns. This will increase tax-GDP ratio. '
NBR Chairman Nazibur Rahman presided over the function. He urged the businessmen not to threat the government. He said, "FBCCI's proposal will be considered with great importance in the budget session.
Leaders of different others business platform and organizations also attended the meeting.