Businesses involved in cross-border trade urged the government to reconsider the value-added tax on importing raw materials as a support to the local manufacturing sector.
Addressing a webinar on Wednesday, speakers appreciated the proposed national budget for reducing the corporate tax on different segments to promote local industry.Bangladesh-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BGCCI) organised the post-budget meeting.
Bangladesh Ambassador to Germany Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan attended the event as the chief guest.
President of Bangladesh Garments Manufacturer and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Faruque Hassan and BGCCI president Thomas Hoffmann joined the webinar as special guests.
Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said the government has been focusing on increasing investment to expand business and boost employment generation in the country.
He said the corporate tax has been decreased to around 30 percent during the last three years.
“The budget seems business friendly. When I was in the NBR, the corporate tax was almost 37.5 percent,” said Bhuiyan, who was also chief of National Board of Revenue in Bangladesh.“Every year the figure goes down by almost 2.5 percent. Now it’s nearly 30 percent. It’s a measure to boost business and investment. If the business grows, the budget will achieve its ultimate success,” he said.
BGMEA president Faruque Hassan said most of the products in apparel industry is cotton driven items and the policy support to the artificial synthetic will help the manufacturers expand the market through diversification of products.
“We should prepare for the LDC graduation through addressing the backward linkage in the RMG sector. Hope the contribution to the GDP will increase from the apparel sector with the policy supports,” Hassan said.
American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh (AmCham) president Syed Ershad Ahmed said the budget has no measurement about the youth’s loss in education due to the pandemic.
“Rather the government imposed tax on students’ tuition fees in private universities,” he said, criticizing the decision. “Actually, the students will burn the heat of the budget apart from their losses in education and career,” AmCham president said.
He urged the government to withdraw all kinds of advance income tax and VAT on imports to boost the cross-border trade.
Riad Mamun Prodhani and Saad Omar of Switzerland-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, among others, also joined the session.
Executive Advisor Shahed Aktar conducted the session while chartered accountant Ahmed Mashuque made the keynote presentation, highlighting the salient features of the proposed national budget for the fiscal year 2021-22.