Wednesday, 6 July, 2022

Amnesty for money launderers proposed

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 10 June, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news

The government has proposed an amnesty for the money launderers to give them an opportunity to legalise their asset through payment of tax in the interest of the country’s economy.

An individual can legalise immovable property by paying 15 percent tax while the rate is 10 percent on movable property and 7 percent on cash amount, according to budget proposal placed in parliament on Thursday.

A report of the US-based Global Financial Integrity (GFI) revealed that Tk 640 billion, on average, is being laundered to different countries every year from Bangladesh.

However, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal at a recent meeting said the government has no exact data on the amount of money laundered.    

He also expressed his desire to bring back the laundered money to the country under a tax provision to help the country’s economy flourish.

None, including the income tax authorities, shall raise any question about the source of any asset located abroad if a person pays tax on such asset as per the tax provision.

An economists, however, claimed that the government’s such move will encourage   money laundering by recognising the illegal practice.

Policy Exchange Chairman Dr Masrur Reaz said the amnesty declared for the money launders is not a welcome step in the proposed budget as it recognises undisclosed earnings.

“Every budget gives an opportunity to legalise undisclosed earnings. But money laundering is a crime. Through this provision, the government recognises money laundering. It should be stopped,” Dr Masrur told the Daily Sun.

This opportunity given to the money launderers will be in force from July 1, 2022 and June 13, 2023.

The finance minister hopes the amnesty for the money launderers will help increase the flow of foreign currency to our economy and thereby increase the income tax revenue.

The taxpayers will also get relieved by availing this opportunity to declare their assets and money acquired/earned abroad by submitting income tax returns, the authorities concerned said.