Speakers at a dialogue on Wednesday called for a progressive reform in the country's revenue collection system and raising social awareness to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in time.
They also called for proper utilisation of the taxpayers' money through corruption-free means to create a pro-taxpaying attitude among the citizens, according to a press release.
The calls were made at a dialogue titled 'Progressive Tax Reform for Achieving SDGs' organised by Sushasoner Jonno Procharavizan or SUPRO (Campaign for Good Governance) at the National Press Club in the city.
State Minister for Finance and Planning MA Mannan attended the programme as chief guest while former NBR chairman Dr Mohammad Abdul Mazid, national parliament members Nazmul Haq Prodhan and Kazi Rozy, BNP leader Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal, Value Added Tax (VAT) commissioner (large taxpayers unit-LTU) Motiur Rahman, Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Selima Ahmad, and SUPRO general secretary MA Quader also spoke at the programme.
State Minister Mannan said that wastage of taxpayers' money should be prevented and civil society members should pay more attention to this.
He also said tax justice has to be established at all spheres of the society through strict monitoring by the regulatory bodies.
Former NBR chairman Mazid said the law has to be enforced directly to get positive results in revenue collection.
At the same time, social awareness and advocacy from different social quarters have to be enhanced to popularise taxpaying attitudes, he added.
Mentioning that only 8.0 per cent of the taxpayers actually control the 'tax empire', Mr Mazid said that almost everyone was paying VAT, but it should be ensured that the money goes to the government.
Mr Motiur said some of the people were dodging tax by taking advantage of the loopholes of the tax system which needed to be fixed for getting better results.
He also said: "In our country, creative people face obstacles when he or she wants to do something innovative; the trend should be changed."
The VAT official also emphasised on enrolling efficient people in the tax administration.
BNP leader Mr Alal said political commitment would be very essential to bring discipline in taxation.
Wealth statements by the law makers have to be published, otherwise the rule of law could not be ensured, he added.
Mr Prodhan said: "Rich people are evading taxes by any means. We need to find out them and keep pressure on them so that they could not evade taxes at all."
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