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Thrust on capping flow of black money and capital flight

Rights, civic bodies oppose new VAT law

Published : Monday, 8 May, 2017 at 12:00 AM  Count : 349

Twenty-five rights based civil society organisations on Sunday demanded capping on untaxed money and capital flight from the country through illicit channels.
They alleged that the government lacked political will to control black money and laundering of money from the country to foreign business havens through illegal channels and gateways.
The demanded a clear cut government policy against these financial scourges prevailing in the country for long.
They observed that the proposed value added tax (VAT) law might emerge regressive to poor. They said the government should not put any emphasize on the new VAT rate as it was prescribed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The authorities should give more emphasize on direct tax, and not on VAT, an indirect tax that becomes effective on all section of the society including the consumers, the said.
They made all these observations and suggestions at a press conference on the subject: "New VAT as Regressive to Poor: We Demand Announcement of Measures against Black Money and Illicit Flow in Next Budget", held at National Press Club.
The press conference was moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury from EquityBD, other speakers of the press conference was Monowar Mostafa from Development Synergy Institute, Asgar Ali Sabri from Action Aid Bangladesh, Aminur Rasul Babul from Upkuliya NGO Jote and Badrul Alam from Bangladesh Krishok Federation. 
Ahsanul Karim Babor from the group presented the written position paper which elaborated 13 recommendations in this regard.
They demanded annual bank statement from all dual citizens, initiatives to have tax and bank transparency agreement with different countries.
Other demands include making all transaction amounting over $2000 through banks with TIN, publication of white papers on Bangladeshis in Malaysia 2nd Home Program,  Consideration of banning money note and bring them in bank account taking the examples from recent rupee 500 and 1000 note banning in India.
The demands also include publication of white papers and report on stock exchange debacle, plundering of money from public banks, and Bangladesh Bank money heist and all above.
They demanded shunning of confrontational politics and space for the free growth of democratic institutions, so that people and business man will feel sense of security and they will not try for illicit flow.
Monowar Mostafa said state cannot ignore on principle the ability of payment of its citizen, VAT defeats this principles which is against the sense of social democracy.
Asgar Ali Sabri said that government hardly follows a democratic and inclusive process for preparation of budget and setting tax principles.
Aminur Rasul Babul said that due to the new VAT law savings of poor families will be eroded and then the investment toward education and health will be hampered.
Badrul Alam said majority of the farmers will be loser due to the new VAT law.

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