The Foreign Investors’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on Friday said the proposed budget of Tk 464,573 crore, which is 25 percent higher than that of revised budget of the last fiscal year, is highly challenging comparing to the estimated 17 percent growth in the immediate preceding year.
The chamber feels that the GDP growth target of 7.8 percent is achievable provided that GDP-Investment ration is increased to a desired level.
It said the proposed budget with necessary amendments will accelerate investment, improve the business environment and socio-economic condition of the country.
The trade body reviewed the 2018-19 national budget proposed by Finance Minister AMA Muhith and assessed its implications on the country’s business in general and foreign investment in particular.
The chamber appreciated notable allocation for skill development.
It also expressed concern over the utilisation of revenue to replenish the deficit of state-owned enterprises and state-owned commercial banks.
The FICCI particularly appreciated the following proposals, which the government has made in the proposed budget - reduction of corporate tax on bank and financial institution by 2.5 percent.
However, it recommended reasonable reduction of the rate of tax also for other sectors.
It appreciated the ropad map created by the government to lay the foundation of digital Bangladesh.
However, the chamber recommends further steps should be taken to encourage foreign investment to fasten this version of the government.
The government has proposed that the employers should submit statements on return submission of their employees.
Otherwise, tax return will be subject to audit.
This provision for audit may turn into harassment for transparent taxpayer, said the FICCI.
The recommendation of the Chamber to reduce the exorbitantly high rate of withholding tax on payment to non-resident has not been addressed.
Besides, the proposal for prior certificate from NBR for the payment to non-resident will cause severe difficulties for concerned companies, the trade body said.
It has strong recommendation for the withdrawal of supplementary duty from locally manufactured products. Instead, the government proposed for the widening of the list of items under SD.