Business leaders and the government on Thursday agreed to work unitedly to collect the targeted revenue by removing the business bottlenecks which they said will create a win-win situation for both of them.
Finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal informed this after holding talks with the leaders of the country’s top business bodies at NEC conference room in the city yesterday.Prime Minister’s Adviser on private industry and investment Salman F Rahman, NBR chairman and central bank governor were also present at the meeting.
Kamal said they sought businessmen’s help to reach Tk 2,96,000 crore revenue target this year, while business leaders demanded improved business environment.
Private sector put forward a set of demands including cutting bank interest rates, different taxes, VAT, custom duties alongside improving ease of doing business, he informed.
“We’ve no tools other than the revenues. We’ve urged businessmen to meet our revenue demands,” Kamal told a press conference after the meeting. “We’ve told them (businessmen) to fulfill our demand and we will fulfill yours. We want to create a win-win situation for both sides,” he added. Kamal said that they have no intention to put anyone under stress in revenue mobilization.
“We’ve held an elaborate discussion on individual business and generally the problems which are hindering businesses,” Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, president of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) told the reporters.
He said the government wants the economy to flourish with investment and employment and mobilise the targeted revenue of Tk 2,96,000cr for the sake of development. “We agreed to work jointly on how to coordinate the two issues. The concerned department and ministries will address the problems,” he pointed out.The meeting came at a time when NBR saw a revenue shortfall in the first six months by a large margin although there was slight year-on-year hike in collection.
NBR provisional data suggest that revenue collection in first six months of FY19 was Tk 98,028 crore with 6.36 percent yearly growth in contrast to 14.92 percent growth during the same period in last year.
But it fell short of the half-yearly target of Tk 1,26,028 crore by nearly Tk 28,000 crore or 22.22 percent. In the last five years, NBR witnessed a 13.64 percent average yearly growth.
The finance minister said from now on they want to follow “bottom-up” approach in case of revenue collection, which means that NBR won’t be burdened with any preset target, rather they themselves would assess the collection capacity in a year.
He also informed that they have a plan to set up income tax offices at all the 492 upazillas and install VAT collection machines in all retail outlets.
FBCCI president said they also agrees with the concept of more revenue mobilization much needed for fulfilling the far-reaching goal of SDGs and a well off nation by 2021, where the private sector will have to contribution immensely.
He also said the businessmen are convinced with the new VAT law and the Prime Minister made it clear that VAT rates will be multiple and new finance minister did not show urgency of implementing VAT law from this July.