Abdur Razzak and his entire 11-member family, living in Barisal, were awarded with the Kar Bahadur Paribar award for paying taxes regularly.
In 2017 alone, the family paid Tk300,000 in taxes.
The award is given to those families who submitted their income tax returns in due time.
“For procedural complications, many people try to avoid paying income tax. If it is paid regularly, illegal wealth gain and corruption can be reduced. The government will not have to raise the tax rate from time to time,” Razzak said in an interview.
He continued: “Our family has been paying income tax to the government for the development of the country. Since we are doing business legally, why should we have a problem in paying income tax?”
Abdur Razzak was born in 1941 in Amirabad village of Jhalokathi district. His father, late Alhaj Tofayel Ahmed, was a businessman who moved to Barisal during the British rule.
After passing his SSC examination from Asmat Ali Khan Institution School in Barisal in 1956, Razzak started cotton, rod and cement business. He became popular and well known in the area for his honesty and dedication.
In 1972, he was elected chairman of Hatkhola Union Parishad. After the union was converted into a ward in 1973, he was elected as the ward commissioner.
He also served as acting president of Barisal Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 1972-74.
He was also a member of a tax committee, formed during the tenure of former president Ershad, responsible for encouraging businessmen to pay taxes. Unfortunately, the initiative was scrapped later on.
Razzak owns a dealership of Pran and ACI, besides other businesses. His sons are involved with the businesses.
Barisal Income Tax Commissioner Mohammed Jahid Hasan said most of the taxes are being paid by already existing taxpayers, due to enforcement of new laws after the 2015 payscale was announced.
He also mentioned little money is coming from new tax payers.
“Many businessmen in Barisal do not pay income tax, but those who live in Dhaka do. A discussion was held with the president of Barisal Chamber of Commerce and Industry about the businessmen who are not paying any income tax. A survey will be done on this matter in Barisal and a decision taken later on.
“We are also training new taxpayers on tax-related issues. E-tin registration and help desks have been set up. Similar training has also been provided to 100 teachers and students from different educational institutions,” he added.
He also expressed hope that paying income tax properly will lead to decrease in poverty and socio-economic discrimination.
According to statistics from Barisal Tax Zone, there have been 39,000 registered tax payers from 2013- 17. A total of 3131 new tax payers were added in 2017 with the amount of money collected from taxes so far being Tk4.4 crore.