He made the statement while addressing the 40th Consultative Committee Meeting of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) as the chief guest
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Tuesday assured businessmen that tax rate will not be increased in the next five years.
He made the statement while addressing the 40th Consultative Committee Meeting of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) as the chief guest.
AHM Mustafa said: “In the next five years, the tax rate will not increase; rather, it would be reduced gradually, unless there is any unusual external variable or vulnerable incident in the country.
“We will also not increase the tax rate this year.”
He said: “The next budget is not a calculation of income and expenditure for a year. The direction of this year's budget is an indication and foundation for 2041.”
The government has to collect revenue of Tk325,000 crore next year, and it has to be done either with the existing tax rate or by cutting it, the minister said.
He added that in attaining the target, the government has to widen the tax net.
The FBCCI has proposed to bring down corporate tax rate to 22.5% and 30% for publicly traded and non-traded companies respectively for FY20 to increase investment inflow.
Currently, publicly traded companies are paying 25% corporate tax, while non-listed companies are paying 30% corporate tax.
In addition, the government is also going to bring changes in policy to get more tax from well-off people.
He said: “In the next budget, we will bring lots of changes. Those who have more will pay more tax, while others, who have less wealth, would pay less.”
Urging the businessmen to remain honest, he said: “Keeping you all in mind, we have brought changes in value added tax (VAT) rate. Instead of single 15% VAT rate, it will now be 5%, 7.5% and 10%.
“So, none of your demands are unmet.”
The minister also vowed to stop changes in tax rate after budget announcement through Statutory Regulatory Orders (SROs).
The finance minister said: “Previously, we habitually issued SROs to dent discipline in the budget after its announcement, but from this year, it will not happen.”
Regarding apparel export growth, he assured the people in the sector of keeping incentives and financial policy support unchanged.
“The apparel sector made Bangladesh known to the world. So, I will not do injustice to the sector and the demands of its people,” he said, adding that the tax rate for the sector will continue to be the same.
The Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and the NBR jointly organized the meeting, where people from business communities shared their demands ahead of the national budget for the fiscal year 2019-20.
Outgoing FBCCI President Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin moderated the meeting, where Salman F Rahman, private industry and investment advisor to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, NBR Chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan and BGMEA President Rubana Huq were also present.