ARTICLE 19 lauds tax exemption for 3rd gender citizens

Staff Correspondent

8 June, 2021 12:00 AM printer

ARTICLE 19 (A19) Bangladesh and South Asia (A19), a UK-based international human rights organisation, has appreciated the government’s initiative of special tax exemptions for the third gender citizens in the proposed budget for 2021-22 fiscal.

Such initiative will help mainstream third gender people by increasing their employment opportunity, living standard with dignity and socioeconomic security, said a press release on Monday. The A19 believes such additions will remove the stereotype mindset gradually from society and the society will consider them, as well as sex-binary people as part of the gross development of the country without considering their gender identity.

If an organisation deploys 10 percent of its total staff or more than 100 third genders, tax rebate will be calculated based on 75 percent of salary paid to those employees or 5 percent of the tax payable, whichever is lower. The government recognised transgender people as the third gender in November 2013 to eliminate the inequality.

The gazette was published on January 26, 2014 with the state recognition of Hijras.

As per government reckoning, about 10,000 Hijras are currently living in the country. But some non-government organisations reported that about 50 thousand Hijra people are currently living in Bangladesh.

Since then, the government has been trying to bring them to the mainstream as it is providing monthly allowances and vocational trainings to the transgender people between the ages of 50 and above 50 to increase their livelihood skills.