Finance Minister AMA Muhith Sunday hinted at the possibility of reducing the corporate tax in the budget for the next fiscal year, and the budget size would be of Tk 4.15 trillion.
"I have been trying to reduce the corporate tax in my every budget, but I could not do that. But this year, I will do something in the budget," he said, in response to a request at a discussion on 'Path to an Easier Business Environment', organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) in a city hotel.
He admitted that the rate of corporate tax was very high in Bangladesh.
Kazi M. Aminul Islam, executive chairman, Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), and Rupali Chowdhury, president of Foreign Investors' Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), Bangladesh attended the meeting as the guests of honour.
ICAB president Adeeb Hossain Khan FCA delivered the address of welcome and moderated the programme. ICAB council member Dewan Nurul Islam FCA presented the keynote paper while executive member & secretary of BIDA Ajit Kumar Paul FCA presented a paper on BIDA strategy to foster business activities and ensure congenial environment.
The finance minister said the government would think about privatisation of the public sector sugar production.
"We will do something about privatisation of the public sector sugar production as it is not worthy of public subsidy anymore," he said, replying to a request.
He added that the government would not cut the subsidy on food production and some other sectors. "Poverty and malnutrition are still very high in the country. We should continue subsidy on food production."
Mr Muhith said there must be clear distinction between the small and medium enterprises - medium ones get all the attention. "Small enterprises should be separated and give special attention."
In response to another request for doing something about ending tax refund harassment and lengthy process, he said he could not do anything about the tax refund.
He said the private sector investment remained stagnant in the country. He added that the private investment should be increased due to the favourable political environment prevailing in the country.
He said he would bring some kinds of mechanism to declare the undisclosed money.