CHATTOGRAM: speakers at a webinar said that the proposed budget for reduction of corporate tax rates, tax exemptions and tax breaks in various sectors are support to increase the private investment.
The webinar organised by Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry on the proposed budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year was held on Tuesday.FBCCI President Md Jasim Uddin, Foreign Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Rupali Haque Chowdhury, BGMEA President Faruque Hassan, Bangladesh Cement Manufacturers Association President Md Alamgir Kabir, Chattogram Stock Exchange Chairman Asif Ibrahim And Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd. Executive Committee and Bangladesh House Building Finance Corporation Chairman Professor Dr Selim Uddin addressed the webinar presided over by the CCCI President Mahbubul Alam. FBCCI President Md Jasim Uddin in his speech said that Bangladesh has achieved GDP growth for the government spending, not for the private sector investment. Although the large industries have become benefited from the stimulus packages announced by the government following the pandemic, the SME sector has not become benefited in the same way due to various banks.
The FBCCI president requested to increase the number of the taxpayers instead of increasing the additional pressure on the existing ones, separating the policy and implementation wings and making the tax rate more logical considering the global situation.
CCCI President Mahbubul Alam termed the proposed budget as visionary and related to the national goal of building a developed Bangladesh by 2041.
He observed that the reduction of corporate tax rates, tax exemptions and tax breaks in various sectors are reflection of the government’s efforts to increase the private investment.
The president urged the leaders of FBCCI and other trade bodies to call upon the government to speed up and increase allocation for implementation of priority projects including Bay Terminal and water-logging addressing one.
He also said that there is no alternative to capital dredging in Karnaphuli river to protect the country’s premier seaport.Foreign Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Rupali Haque Chowdhury termed this budget as local industry-friendly.
“The foreign investment has not been increased in the recent years. Even though government is extensively developing infrastructures, the issues such as legislative environment and policies should be improved for attracting more foreign investment,” she said.
She said it is unreasonable to impose 15% VAT on subsequent transfer of land at the economic zones without mentioning it at first.
Mentioning that 56% tax is being collected in telecom sector, she requested to reduce it. BGMEA President Faruque Hassan said the 1% incentive in the readymade garments sector would help boost exports.
The proposed training activities in this sector need to be speeded up further to meet the shortage of skilled manpower, he said.
Entrepreneurs will be interested in investment if the policies last for five to 10 years. More facilities should be provided for producing non-cotton products.
He also requested for withdrawal of 10% tax on incentives.
Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd. Executive Committee and Bangladesh House Building Finance Corporation Chairman Prof Dr Selim Uddin said any big budget will naturally have big deficit.
Domestic debt can come under pressure if revenue collection reduces due to tax exemption and increased government spending, he observed.
He requested to increase the tax holiday ceiling for women entrepreneurs to Tk 1 Crore turnover per year, Tk 80 lakh for manufacturing based CMSMEs and Tk 50 lakh for service and trade based CMSMEs.
Md Alamgir Kabir, president of Bangladesh Cement Manufacturers Association, said that 37 cement manufacturing companies have invested around Tk 42,000 crore in the country.
“This sector is playing an important role in revenue earning and GDP through infrastructural development,” he said.
He urged not to consider the advance tax as a ultimate liability, to reduce duty on clinker imports and repeal the double taxation.
Chattogram Stock Exchange Chairman Asif Ibrahim said that the country's capital market is in vulnerable condition due to the corona pandemic. The capital market remained closed for around 60 days for the reason at the beginning.
Currently the operating costs of the brokerage houses have been increased, he said.
Even though government has reduced the corporate tax on public listed companies, the gap between listed and non-listed companies needs to be widened so that more companies become interested to come in the capital market.
He advised to bring the state-owned profitable institution in the capital market.