The National Board of Revenue (NBR) is threatening to suspend all bank accounts belonging to the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC), claiming the state-owned energy company owes crores of taka in unpaid tax.
In a letter signed on June 13, the NBR said the BPC had not paid taxes at source worth Tk54.35 crore in 2014-15 and 2015-16 for the distribution of fuel oil to companies under the BPC against the payable margin.
Ashis Kumer Sarker, the deputy tax commissioner of Tax Circle 4, Chittagong, warned that if this amount was not paid, action would be taken by suspending all the bank accounts of the BPC.
The letter also said that the NBR had contacted the BPC several times over the issue and had received no response.
In reply, the BPC sent a letter to Tax circle 4, Chittagong saying the oil companies sell the imported fuel oil by prices fixed by the government and also pay tax, VAT and duty in favour of the BPC. According to the rules, the companies pay the net receivable to the BPC after deducting all the margins and other payables.
“As the BPC never pays the marketing margin to the companies, there is no chance to deduct tax at source on margin,” the reply said.
The BPC also dismissed the NBR's demand as “irrelevant”, saying it pays Tk8,000 crore every year to government exchequer as tax, VAT and duty.
BPC Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Munim said: “We are trying to be solve this through discussion with higher authorities.”
At present, the BPC imports about 1.3 million tonnes of crude oil and 4.2 million tonnes of refined oil from abroad while around 300,000 tonnes of petroleum products are received from different gas fields and private fractionation plants.
Crude oil is processed only in the Eastern Refinery to produce diesel, petrol, octane and furnace oil.
The BPC is now making around Tk10,000 crore profit per year by procuring oil at low prices and selling it at higher rates in the domestic market.