Bond misuse a fraud, says NBR chief

Staff Correspondent

5 April, 2019 12:00 AM printer

CHATTOGRAM: National Board of Revenue (NBR) Chairman Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan on Thursday said selling of raw materials imported duty-free under bond facility in the local market is a fraudulence. 

He made the remark while speaking at a pre-budget view-exchange meeting with Chittagong Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CMCCI) in the port city.

The NBR chairman said local paper, weaving, plastics and other industries have been facing uneven competition due to the misuse of the bond warehouse facility.

“NBR officials will check the misuse of the bond facility and the businessmen must cooperate with us by providing information in this regard,” said the NBR chairman.

The objective of the annual budget is to foster investment and promote growth for businesses as well as increasing the revenue income of the government, he said. 

The auction process is being simplified to ease the container backlog in Chattogram Port, added the NBR chairman. 

CMCCI Vice President AM Mahbub Chowdhury presided over the discussion.

Chattogram-based daily Azadi Editor MA Malek, CMCCI Director Abdul Awal, Shafiq Uddin, Syed Mohammad Abu Taher and Mohammad Shafi addressed the meeting, among others.

Addressing the meeting, Mosharraf laid emphasis on providing facilities to local industries in the upcoming budget for attracting more investment and facilitating  rapid industrialisation.

He also assured that the budget will not include any initiatives that cause harm to the businessmen, industries and consumers.

Mosharraf, also a senior secretary of the Internal Resources division, said the size of the budget has been increasing over the years and the budget for 2019-20 fiscal year would be of around Tk 500,000 crore.

Terming Bangladesh’s development as a miracle, he said Bangladesh started off industrialisation with small and medium entrepreneurs and gradually added large industries.

“Our population has turned into resources. Labour is cheap in our country,” said the NBR chairman.

Highlighting the contribution of the readymade garment (RMG) sector, Mosharraf said the sector alone makes up 85 per cent of the country’s total export income.

“We are now shifting towards direct tax. We are also reducing customs duty gradually and focusing more on VAT as it would not be possible to meet the budgetary targets without maximising the use of internal resources,” he said, adding that NBR doesn’t want to have budget deficit of more than 5 per cent.

The NBR chairman observed that the area of VAT will have to be increased as 65 per cent of the total budget is met from internal resources.

 “We are determined to implement the VAT law and the revenue collection will be higher if everybody helps in this regard,” Mosharraf added.

CCCI President Mahbubul Alam placed a number of proposals to the NBR chairman. These include 148 suggestions concerning duty, 44 concerning income tax along with a detailed observation on the new VAT law.

The proposals included increasing the limit of tax-free income to 3.50 lakh, 4 lakh for women and persons over 65 years, 4.75 lakh for persons with disability, 5.25 lakh for injured freedom fighters, fixing tax at 22.50 per cent for publicly traded companies and 27.50 per cent for private limited companies.

CCCI President sought proper guidelines in the budget for quick implementation of the mega projects, including Bay Terminal of Chattogram Port Authority, Bangabandhu Tunnel, Outer Ring Road, Coal-fired Power Plant in Matarbari and Chattogram-Cox’s Bazar Rail Line projects.

He also demanded the withdrawal of load limit (13 tonnes) for goods transportation from Chattogram by road and lowering bank interest rate.

NBR Members Md Firoz Shah Alam, Kanan Kumar Roy, Md Meftah Uddin Khan, Md Rezaul Hasan and Syed Golam Kibria, Chattogram Customs Commissioner Kazi Mostafizur Rahman, Customs Excise and VAT Commissioner Mohammad Enamul Hoque and Bond Commissioner Md Azizur Rahman were present at the meetings, among others.