5:18 pm - Sunday June 14, 0122

No scope for money whitening in new budget    

The upcoming national budget for 2014-15 financial year (FY15) is unlikely to leave any scope for whitening black money as people have been offered for years.

“We have given the chances (money whitening) repeatedly, but the next budget would have no such provision,” Finance Minister AMA Muhith told the consultative meeting of the National Revenue Board (NBR), held at a city hotel on Thursday.

MuhithAccording to NBR, some Taka 13,808 crore was whitened between 1971-72 and 2012-13 financial years, BSS reports.

The finance minister, however, said the fiscal policy would persistently cushion productive sectors with continuing the support of incentives.

He said the new fiscal policy would have enough mechanism to safeguard the interest of local industries and entrepreneurs, but

progressive liberalization of trade would not be hindered.

Besides, he said the tax and tariff system for service and transport sectors including telecommunication and road-transport would be simplified further.

He said the next budget would take a strict tax policy for the sectors like tobacco those are harmful to public health.

The minister indicated that there would be a new slab on taxable personal income, but the slab might be fixed for the next 10 years like the United States.

He urged businesses to pay taxes regularly to help make up the shortfall in revenue collections.

He also suggested the NBR to expedite revenue collection as contribution of revenue to the country’s gross national income (GNI) was hovering around 3.0 percent in the past five years.

The minister said the tax-GDP ratio, which is now 13 percent, should be increased to 18 percent in the next five years for sustainable development.

Addressing the programme, NBR Chairman Gholam Hossain said higher revenue collection would be a challenge as revenue from customs duties was dropping every year mainly because of global realities.

Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) President Kazi Akram Uddin suggested the government to expand tax-net instead of increasing tax to collect more revenue.

He also put forwarded a set of budget recommendations of FBBCI, the apex chamber-body of the country. The recommendations included some proposals for tax reduction and suggestions for taking some policy measurers to ensure basic infrastructure support to business, trade and industries.

State Minister for Finance and Planning MA Mannan also spoke at the meeting, organised jointly by the FBCCI and NBR.