Discussants at the meeting requested continuous follow-up by the Secretariat for speedy implementation, while suggesting timelines for some of the reforms
Speakers at the 11th Private Sector Development Policy Coordination Committee (PSDPCC) meeting on Thursday stressed the need for implementation of reforms proposed by the committee.
They also said the policy for tax at source and corporate tax for E/O industries should be consistent, and rates of both should be fixed for at least five years.
The 11th PSDPCC meeting was organized by Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) and the Prime Minister’s Office, at the Prime Minister’s Office premises. Abul Kalam Azad, principal coordinator of SDG affairs at the Prime Minister’s Office, was in chair.
At the meeting, BUILD CEO Ferdaus Ara Begum said just 12 out of 59 reform proposals from the 10th meeting of the committee had been implemented. Of the remainder, 22 are in the process of implementation, and 28 need further review.
Discussants at the meeting requested continuous follow-up by the Secretariat for speedy implementation, while suggesting timelines for some of the reforms.
The BUILD CEO also requested that the rate of corporate income tax be rationalized in line with other countries in the Asia region, where Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) benefit from reduced rates. Malaysia and Thailand were cited as examples of such other countries.
She further suggested that VAT rates also be rationalized, referring to nine types of truncated VAT.
BUILD emphasized the inclusion of the definition of commercial sample in both the upcoming Import Policy Order 2018-21, and Export Policy 2018-21. The import of samples need to be declared as tax and duty free, and no penalty should be imposed on the import of a sample without opening an L/C as sample items have no commercial value.
BUILD also asked the government to solve existing sample testing related problems by increasing the capacity of BSTI and BAB. Some other sample release related procedural issues were presented at the meeting, and addressing these issues would help reduce lead-time.
The organization proposed that the De Minimis value be raised to $40.
BUILD also put forward a definition of import through Indenting and Proforma Invoice (PI), so that informal import can be regularized.
The meeting was attended by participants from both the public and private sectors, including Yasmin Sultana, Joint Secretary of Ministry of Industries; Ruksana Chowdhury, executive director of Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC); Khondkar Morshed Millat, general manager (Current Charge) of the SME & Special Programmes Department (SMESPD) of Bangladesh Bank; Alhaz Nurun Newaz Salim, senior vice president of the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCCI); Rezaul Karim Reznu, director of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI); Isha Shamina Mannan, assistant secretary of the FBCCI; and Dr Mahmudul Karim, executive committee member of the Foreign Investors’ Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).
Representatives from the Internal Resources Division, SME Foundation, ICT Division, DCCI, MCCI, CCCI, BSEC, RJSC, BSTI, Office of the Chief Inspector of Boilers, and Bangladesh Indenting Agent Association were also present at the meeting.