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NBR seeks info on debit, credit card transactions

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 13 August, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news
NBR seeks info on debit, credit card transactions

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has moved to discuss with Bangladesh Bank (BB) to get information on transactions of debit and credit card of customers along with their e-TIN and NID data in prescribed forms.

The move came after the commercial banks did not comply with a request from NBR in this regard.

A member of NBR on Thursday told the Daily Sun that the revenue board will discuss the issue with the central bank soon to get the required information of transactions through cards.

Though NBR sent a letter to the commercial banks a few months ago requesting their clients’ debit and credit card transaction report along with e-TIN and NID number, no bank so far replied to the letter, he said.

The official said that the NBR has increased monitoring and supervision on the digital payment systems, e-commerce and other online trading, procurement and payment for ensuring transparency and check VAT and tax evasion.

Prominent economist and former adviser of a caretaker government Dr. ABM Mirza Azizul Islam said that banks cannot provide all of their clients’ credit and debit card transaction information as there is a matter of customer privacy.

“The NBR can seek specific information of some particular clients if there is any specific suspicion. But they are seeking all of the card holders’ information, which is a violation of the privacy Act,” he said.

The banks have raised objections to the request for information made by the survey and inspection wing of the National Board of Revenue (NBR).

Earlier, MDs of several banks had expressed their concern over the issue at a bankers' meeting held at Bangladesh Bank.

A chief executive officer (CEO) of a private commercial bank said banks may lose their clients or the client may hand over the cards to banks if the NBR starts to seek all of card holders’ information.

Banks will soon hold discussions with the NBR to resolve the issue as the government's restrictions on movement and keeping offices open have been relaxed, he said.

Dr. Muhammad Abdul Mazid, former chairman of NBR, told the Daily Sun that the NBR should have applied technique for seeking such information from the banks. The NBR can seek e-TIN and NID data for matching debit and credit card holders’ information with their income tax returns, he said.

According to BB data in 2020, a total of 1.62 million people use credit cards, 19.99 million people use debit cards, and 0.59 million people use pre-paid cards in Bangladesh.