The Jatiya Sangsad (JS) passed the Finance Bill 2018 on Wednesday, bringing a number of changes in taxes/duties proposed earlier in the finance minister's budget speech.
The bill was passed by voice vote. Six lawmakers of Jatiyo Party sought public opinion on the bill, but it was also rejected by voice vote later.
Finance Minister A M A Muhith in his speech on the Finance Bill admitted that the state of the public sector banks is not that good.
Besides, problems of the private commercial banks (PCBs) will be discussed next month, as there are allegations that directors of one PCB take loan from other banks, he said.
"Now I do not want to say what measures will be taken to address it," Mr Muhith told the JS.
The finance minister tabled the Finance Bill 2018 in the JS. With the passing of the Finance Bill, the budget exercise is partially completed, as the JS needs to pass the Appropriation Bill today (Thursday).
The Finance Bill seeks to amend the Customs Act, 1969, the Income Tax Ordinance, 1984, and the Value Added Tax Act, 1991.
The changes in the corporate tax rates remain the same, as proposed in the budget placed in June 07 by the finance minister, although there are criticisms over these.
Mr. Muhith announced at the JS session that the VAT on internet would come down to 5.0 per cent from the existing 15 per cent. He said he has made the change in line with the demand of the ICT ministry.
The finance minister also said local mobile phone manufactures will have VAT waiver.
Besides, the tax proposal on petroleum jelly, used by mass people, has been withdrawn.
The finance minister proposed that the VAT imposed on the country's credit rating companies will be slashed to 7.0 per cent from the existing 15 per cent.
Considering the interest of the local dairies, he announced that the import duty on the powdered milk at bulk level would remain the same at 25 per cent from the proposed rate of 10 per cent.
Import duty on the raw materials for manufacturing SIM cards and smart cards will be slashed to 10 per cent from the existing 15 per cent.
The JS was told that a 5.0 per cent duty would be imposed on import of raw materials for producing LED/LCD monitors.
On June 07, the finance minister placed the Finance Bill 2018. He also proposed the national budget for fiscal year 2018-2019, which is expected to be passed by the JS members today (Thursday).
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