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Dhaka Tribune

NBR seeks financial info on Debapriya, family

Update : 06 Jan 2016, 07:23 PM

The revenue authority has sought information on bank accounts and personal and family investments of noted economist Debapriya Bhattacharya and his wife.

Central Intelligence Cell (CIC) of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) served two separate notices to the chief executive officers of all the scheduled banks and to the managing director of the Central Depository Bangladesh Limited (CDBL) seeking the information.

Dhaka Tribune has obtained copies of the two notices signed by CIC Assistant Director M Nasir Uddin.

The NBR move comes in less than 24 hours after civil society think tank Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), of which Debapriya is a distinguished fellow, estimated a Tk40,000 crore revenue shortfall in the ongoing 2015-16 fiscal year.

NBR’s intelligence cell asked for information on bank accounts – all including fixed deposit receipt (FDR), STD savings, loan account and foreign currency – operated by Debapriya, his wife Irina Bhattacharya and their family members.

The banks were also asked to send details of financial transactions made by Debapriya, his wife and family members since July 1, 2008 and on any savings instrument and credit cards.

The notices also asked the respondents to provide information on any closed bank accounts of the family or their members.

CDBL was asked to provide information on any beneficiary wwners (BO) accounts operated in the stock market by Debapriya, Irina, and their family members. It also sought info on any joint accounts operated by them.

The bank authorities will be fined Tk25,000 once and Tk500 daily thereafter if they fail to furnish and send report within the next seven days, the notices warned.

The CPD on Sunday said that revenue shortfall in the ongoing fiscal may reach Tk40,000 crore due to a number of reasons including overambitious targets, low international price of imported commodities, incentives in budget and lack of major improvement in administrative policy.

When contacted, Debapriya told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday: “The NBR may do legally needful things within its mandate. However, this is not a new experience for me. In 2003-04, during the BNP regime, I faced similar harassment in the context of my commentaries on the state of the economy.”

In FY15-16, the NBR failed to achieve its revenue target for five consecutive months despite achieving increasing average growth rate. The overall shortfall in revenue collection for July-November period of the ongoing fiscal year stands at Tk8,308 crore. 

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