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Traders to strike on November 2 over NBR harassment

  • Published at 01:12 am October 28th, 2016
Traders to strike on November 2 over NBR harassment
Prior to that, they will also observe strike on the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) premises with the same demand. Baboshayee Oikko Forum, a platform of various business associations, made the announcement at a press conference yesterday. The platform was formed to put pressure on the government to materialise several demands including package VAT. On May 30, Businessmen staged a one-hour human chain across the country demanding retention of Package VAT in the new VAT law. The new VAT law has already drawn widespread criticism from different quarters, mostly from leading business associations as it will impose a uniform 15% VAT on all products and services, removing existing multiple rates. The law will have no provisions for package VAT or the truncated value-based VAT system. With the introduction of the law, all levels of business will have to pay a unique and single VAT rate at 15%. The government earlier targeted to implement the new VAT law from July 1, 2016. However, it had postponed the implementation till July 1 next year following mass protest from business people. “NBR officials raid factories, shops and other trading organisations without any prior notice and seize our official documents. Even they seal off our shops without any formal warning,” said Abu Motaleb, general secretary of Baboshayee Oikko Forum. “Businesses are ready to pay VAT, but we do not want any harassment,” he added. Motaleb, also a director of the Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), urged the government to reinstate the package VAT as it would hurt the local industry. Regarding the package VAT hike, he said local traders are losing competitive edge and imported products are grabbing the market share, which would leave the sector in trouble. For the current fiscal year, the government has increased package VAT for shops located in Dhaka and Chittagong city corporation areas to Tk28,000 from Tk14,000. “FBCCI is our parent oragination and we are urging it to play its due role to materialise the demand of business people,” said Motaleb. “If the apex trade body does not play its due role, we would approach the issue to the Prime Minister for the sake of our business.”
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