NBR to focus on framing steady fiscal policies

Its chief says on bagging more investment

FE Report | Thursday, 1 March 2018

From now on National Board of Revenue (NBR) will focus on framing consistent fiscal policies to attract more investment and collect more revenue, said its chief on Wednesday.
"I hope from now on there will be consistency in the government's fiscal policy," said Internal Resources Division (IRD) Senior Secretary and NBR Chairman Md Mosharrof Hossain Bhuiyan.
The NBR chairman said this while responding to a proposal of former president of Foreign Investors' Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Managing Director (MD) of Berger Paints Bangladesh Ltd Rupali Chowdhury in a meeting.
FICCI arranged the luncheon meeting at a city hotel. It was the first meeting of the new NBR chairman with any business chamber.
Ms Chowdhury said investors usually remain confused over uncertainty of fiscal laws that affects their long-term business planning.
"The fiscal laws should maintain consistency, rather than changing frequently."
She also focused on implementation problem of the fiscal laws and suggested maintaining transparency in this regard.
The NBR chairman said the revenue board will take stern actions against the tax officials, if any valid complaints are made against them.
"I have asked the tax officials not to harass taxpayers. The officials will face music, if any valid complaints come against them."
He said the taxpayers can made complaints directly to the NBR high-ups, including its chairman, in case of facing any harassment.
The NBR chairman appreciated the FICCI members' contribution to the public exchequer, which is around 30 per cent. "Foreign direct investors are compliant taxpayers, who maintain single book of accounts."
He also pledged to talk with both foreign and domestic investors to ensure a congenial business environment for them.
FICCI President Shehzad Munim said the FICCI members are among the top five revenue contributors of the country.
He also said NBR is the front office for the foreign investors, who are operating in Bangladesh.
"NBR could frame favourable fiscal policies through dialogues with the FICCI members," he opined.
Abdul Khalek, convener of trade, tariff, taxation and company affairs subcommittee of FICCI, gave a presentation incorporating FICCI's proposals to make fiscal laws more business-friendly.
The proposals include cut in corporate tax by phases, reviewing applicability of retrospective effect of tax laws, and not to deduct tax at source from non-resident Bangladeshis in case of having double taxation agreement (DTA) with Bangladesh.
Besides, FICCI also proposed withdrawing the provision of minimum tax irrespective of profit and loss, scraping the provision of payment of 10 per cent tax before appeal, and increasing net wealth exemption ceiling of surcharges on individual assesses to Tk 50 million.
He also suggested integrating the progressive provisions of VAT Act 2012 in VAT Act 1991 for facilitating acceptance of the new VAT law. On customs, he proposed to check over valuation of import products.
The FICCI members also urged NBR to maintain better coordination with drug administration for ensuring smooth supply of medical products.
FICCI Executive Director Jamil Osman delivered the welcome speech, while Vice President Kevin Lyon gave the vote of thanks in the programme.

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