Conditions for loan and bill defaulters have also been relaxed
The Election Commission has withdrawn a requirement for the submission of income tax returns for parliamentary election candidates.
It has also made conditions easier for loan and bill defaulters to be able to participate in the national elections.
Election Commission Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed confirmed the news at a press conference held after a meeting with an inter-ministerial team on preparations for parliamentary elections on Wednesday.
He said: “The candidates will not have to submit income tax returns from now on. Earlier, it was mandatory to give income tax returns for all candidates but not for now. Only those who have a Tax Identification Number (TIN) will provide returns to the election commission and those who do not have that, they do not need to.”
“We had sent a proposal to the cabinet to make it compulsory. But the cabinet division explained that many farmers of the country also take part in the elections. They do not have income tax returns. So the issue of income tax return has been relaxed to ensure fair opportunity for everyone in the elections,” the secretary added.
On the topic of loan defaulters, he said: “There were provisions that candidates need to repay their loans seven days prior to the submission of nomination papers. Now they can submit nomination papers right after paying off the loan.”
According to Helal, in order to keep the election environment neutral and safe, the Election Commission has instructed the Public Security Division to arrest miscreants and drug addicts who can be potential threats to create unrest during the national elections.
He said the national elections schedule will be announced in the first week of November. Within the seven days of announcement of the schedule, it has been advised to take necessary actions to remove all types of election campaign materials.
Besides, since educational institutions will be used as polling stations and the teachers will be appointed as polling officers, the Ministry of Education has been asked to complete all exams by December 10.
He also said they have asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to relax the visa processing procedure to facilitate the foreign election observers.