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Amend new VAT law to salvage it

Parliamentary watchdog chief suggests finance authorities at VAT Day function to clear roadblocks

FE Report | December 11, 2017 00:00:00

The revenue authority may consider amending the ditched new VAT law to resolve all controversies that forced its deferment, said a parliamentary body chief.

Initiatives should be taken so that the apex chamber could not raise any question after implementation of the law, said Dr Md Abdur Razzaque, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on finance ministry.

The chief of the parliamentary watchdog on finance noted that the law couldn't get through following strong opposition from the country's apex chamber-the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry or FBCCI.

"The government should review what steps it has taken so far to sort out the reasons for deferment of the new VAT law," he said at a seminar and awarding ceremony for the highest VAT-payers.

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) organised the programme on the occasion of celebrating the National VAT Day 2017 and VAT Week at its under-construction building in Agargaon area of the capital.

Finance Minister AMA Muhith attended the programme as chief guest.

FBCCI president Md Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said the VAT -- collection and -- payment network should be freed from harassment.

The chief of the apex trade body opined that the VAT law should be customized on the basis of socioeconomic context of a country.

"There is nothing about uniqueness on the VAT law, like WTO framework or others," he said.

The FBCCI president said the number of VAT returns increased twofold, which should be appreciated.

Speaking at the programme, the finance minister said young- generation people, below 40 years of age, are gradually becoming interested to pay tax. "It is encouraging to see young generation becoming tax compliant."

Mr Muhith said country's demand for taxes is higher than the revenue collection.

However, he added, revenue collection is gradually increasing with the number of income-tax-payers on the rise.

Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu said the country is continuing its development work despite revenue collection still remaining below the expected level.

Mr Abdur Razzaque further said some people are much interested in cash transaction avoiding recorded transaction to evade tax.

He suggested that the NBR impart training and enhance awareness activity for the businesses on the new VAT law in order to get it through.

In the programme, the NBR handed over awards to nine top VAT- payers at the national level and 140 top payers at district level.

Narsingdi Gas Field, Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Limited and Berger Paints Bangladesh Limited received awards under production category.

SC Johnson Private Limited, Unimart Limited and Prince Bazar Limited lifted the laurels under business category.

Fibre@Home Limited, One World Aviation Limited and Bureau Veritas Limited were awarded the honours under service category.

Leaders of the Economic Reporters Forum (ERF), reporters, actor Ferdous Ahmed, and high-ups of BTV, BSS, the Department of Films and Publications, and the Directorate of Mass Communication were also rewarded for their jobs in promoting the payment of value-added tax or VAT.

NBR member (customs and VAT administration) and VAT online project director Md Razaul Hasan presented a keynote paper at the function.

Senior secretary of the Internal Resources Division (IRD) and NBR chairman Md Nojibur Rahman presided.

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