Increase tax net not tax rate: Speakers

Staff Correspondent

13 July, 2020 12:00 AM printer

The government should increase the tax net rather than tax rate, speakers at a programme have suggested.

They also stressed need for a large SME portfolio as huge numbers of people have become unemployed and overseas workers are coming back to the country.

Discussant made the comments on a virtual seminar on ‘Finance Act 2020 and Its Impact on the Business’ organised by Institute of Chartered Secretaries of Bangladesh (ICSB) on Saturday.

Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) president Nihad Kabir was the chief guest of the event while ICSB president Muzaffar Ahmed was present as special guest.

Mohammad Sanaullah, immediate past president and chairman, Professional Development Committee of the Institute, chaired the Session.

Lafarge Holcim Bangladesh chief financial officer (CFO) Mohammad Iqbal Chowdhury presented the keynote paper and chief financial officer of Seven Circle Bangladesh Md Kausar Alam also spoke at the programme.

Addressing the programme, Nihad Kabir said time has come to segregate policy formulation and revenue administration activity as there are moral hazard and conflict of interests.

Emphasising the need for proper and fundamental taxation change in Bangladesh, she said it is needed to increase the tax net rather than tax rate.

“We need to especially think about the budget deficit and inflation rate rather than GDP growth” added the MCCI president.

ICSB president Muzaffar Ahmed said there will be a deficit in financing to the private sector as the banks are thinking that private sectors have risk in this COVID situation. 

Mentioning needs for widening tax net, Iqbal Chowdhury in his keynote paper opined to avoid frequent changes in the policy and sustaining tax policy for at least 3 to 5 years to give visibility to investor, to conduct impact study before making any major change in the tax policy.

Mohammad Sanaullah put more emphasis on tax planning which works on the predictable tax regime not in the unstable situation.

He mentioned that economy mostly depends on the contribution of private sector but private sector employees’ long term benefits like provident fund and gratuity are not allowing investment in pension scheme, which needs to be addressed.