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Unrecorded cash transactions limit may be set at Tk 10,000

Acc sends proposal to cabinet division

DOULOT AKTER MALA | November 20, 2019 00:00:00

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has proposed that the government set a cash transaction limit of Tk 10,000 in a bid to curb corruption through unrecorded transactions.

The government might also make it mandatory for all transactions above that limit to be done through bank or using debit and credit cards, the ACC said in its proposals.

It also proposed lowering the transaction limit per day through mobile financial services to Tk 10,000 from the existing limit of Tk 50,000.

At the same time, the government should ensure that there should be a system of issuance of receipts at both money sending and receiving ends of the mobile financial service, the ACC suggested.

The anti-corruption watchdog made the proposals to the cabinet division recently to curb bribery, money laundering and other financial crimes as well as to increase revenue collection.

Bangladesh has ranked 178th in the latest global bribery risk index, 2019.

The Trace Bribery Risk Matrix has ranked Bangladesh as a country of highest risk of bribery in South Asia.

ACC secretary Muhammad Dilwar Bakht, in a letter to the cabinet secretary, placed the proposals and urged the latter to take effective measures to contain corruption by reforming the 'mode of payment.'

Asked for comment, former finance adviser to the caretaker government Dr Mirza Azizul Islam said such a low limit for cash transaction may create problem in economic activities.

Presently, a large number of big informal transactions take place in the country daily, he added.

"People even have to spend the amount mentioned in the ACC proposal while buying essential commodities in the kitchen market," he pointed out.

A public hearing on the issue and detailed discussions in different public forums should be held before taking such a decision, said Dr Islam.

Also, parliamentary standing committees and other platforms of policymakers will have to discuss the issue before taking any decision, he added.

Dr Islam also said capping the cash transaction would not help check bribery.

People involved in bribery process would find their own mechanism to bypass such a cash transaction ceiling, he added.

In its letter, the ACC has also suggested expediting the process of installing the Electronic Cash Registers (ECRs) in business outlets.

"ECRs have not been installed in most of the business organisations while some ECRs, which have already been installed, are not working properly," the ACC wrote.

In some cases, the ACC found that ECRs have not been installed in outlets because of collusion between the revenue officials and the business organisations, it added.

The ACC also said VAT collection by the National Board of Revenue (NBR) could increase by 10 to 15 per cent if the proper collection can be ensured.

Last year, VAT accounted for 39.13 per cent of the total revenue collected by the NBR.

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