Country’s entrepreneurs are subjected to a ‘hostile’ taxation system which is detrimental to boosting local and foreign investments, Managing Director of Apex Footwear Ltd Syed Nasim Manzur has said.
Investors are facing stepmother-like behaviour from the authorities concerned, he said, adding that although an industrialist suffers losses, he/she will not be exempted from the tax under the current system.Nasim Manzur made the remarks while speaking at a webinar organised by Economic Reporters’ Forum (ERF) as a panelist on Saturday.
“The taxation system of Bangladesh is not business-friendly at all. So, doing business should be stopped. We would like to leave business just tomorrow if problems are not resolved. The entrepreneurs are bound to give taxes no matter whether there’s profit or loss. On the contrary, non-taxpayers enjoy various facilities. Largest businesses like us are facing a bleak situation. We don’t want to continue with this kind of business. The prevalence of tax anomalies will see extinction of existing industries, let alone new investment,” he said.
If the National Board of Revenue (NBR) only keeps listening to the demands of businessmen and remains indifferent to meeting those, it gives an impression that the authorities concerned do not want to see economic expansion and investment in the country, he said.
“Clarify your (authorities’) stand clearly. If we don’t get support, we’ll shut industries. We’ll switch to trading business which is profitable. Industrialisation involving more efforts can’t continue under the current situation,” said the Apex Footwear MD.
Planning Minister MA Mannan was present at the webinar titled "FDI for Export Diversification and Smooth LDC Graduation" as the chief guest.
Other participants opined that all the stakeholders need to extend their all-out cooperation to the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) to attract more FDI in the country.The webinar was organised as part of the ERF Webinar Series in partnership with the Asia Foundation and Research and Policy Integration for Development (RAPID).
BIDA Executive Chairman Md Sirazul Islam spoke as a special guest at the programme chaired by ERF Vice-president Shafiqul Alam.
Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) President Barrister Nihad Kabir and Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and
Industry (DCCI) President Rizwan Rahman also spoke as panelists. RAPID Executive Director and Dhaka University Professor of Development Studies Dr M Abu Yusuf and Country Representative of the Asia Foundation Kazi Faisal Bin Seraj gave the welcome addresses. Nasim Mazur said the country’s FDI has become half of the usual volume due to the coronavirus pandemic. “Many foreign investors are leaving China. Besides, Chinese brands will not be able to enter the US market for restrictions. India and Pakistan are taking the advantage. Bangladesh should not lag behind.”