Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Sunday said the government will consider revision of the new VAT law in order to protect and develop local industries.
The minister made the statement at the 36th consultative meeting jointly organised by the NBR and the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka.
Earlier, Muhith took a firm stand to implement 15% uniform VAT from July 1. At the consultative meeting, business stakeholders put forward various demands to be included in the upcoming budget.
The finance minister hinted at the reduction of high corporate tax and talked about advance income tax, tax-free ICT sector, women income tax limit, consumer right and illegal money transfer.
About advance income tax and tax-free ICT sector, Muhith said: “I will not talk about the decision of 5% advance tax in the next budget as businessmen are in favour of its withdrawal and adding it to VAT.
The NBR was supposed to award the ICT sector a tax-free certificate till 2024, but to no avail, said Muhith.
He added that the procrastination of NBR over the issuance of certificate for ICT sector is really objectionable asked the NBR to issue the certificate withing a week.
“We cannot offer tax exemption for every economic sector in the country. If the telecoms operators are exempted from tax how will the government run?” Muhith posed a question.
High corporate tax will be revised in the upcoming budget, he said, adding that the government will also consider the demand of mobile phone operators.
The highest corporate tax is now 42.50%. The finance minister also focused on the women income tax limit. He said Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industries requested the government to extend personal income tax holiday of women.
“We are examining the matter. We will extend the tax holiday for women with an earning of below Tk4 lakh for next two or three years, so it helps the women taxpayers.”
The capacity of the government consumer right agencies will be enhanced as those are lacking in human resources.
Chairman of Consumer Association of Bangladesh Golam Rahman spoke about additional tax on Tobacco, sugar and different food items.