The price of each has been fixed at Tk20,533 which businesses can pay at once or three-month instalments
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has moved away from the decision to distribute free VAT machines to at least 1 lakh business organisations.
They have however distributed to 3,393 shops for free.
From now on, each Electronic Fiscal Device (EFD) and Sales Data Controller (SDC) will have to be paid by the respective business entity.
Meanwhile, businesses are saying that the price fixed by NBR is high and that they would not be able to purchase it if it costs this much.
“At this price, we are not willing to buy VAT machines,” said Helal Uddin, president of Bangladesh Shop Owners Association, commenting on the price of VAT machines yesterday.
On the other hand, Abdul Mannan Shikder Member (VAT Implementation and IT) NBR confirmed that the price quoted is lower than the purchase price.
And to make it easy, the payment will be made in three instalments if the one-time payment cannot be made.
It’s also informed that the officials from the VAT department of the NBR will go to the field and decide which VAT machines need to be installed in which businesses.
Pricing and instalment benefits
Recently, the price of the EFD machine has been fixed by the National Board of Revenue (NBR).
The price of each has been fixed at Tk20,533 which businesses can pay in one-time or three-month instalments, however, within one month of installing the machine, Tk10,533 has to be paid in the first instalment and Tk5,000 can be paid in each of the next two months.
In addition to EFD, Sales Data Controller (SDC) machines will also be installed.
Each SDC will cost Tk24,596 and in that case, one has to pay Tk12,596 in the first month.
The businesses will gain ownership of the machine by paying Tk6,000 in each of the following two months.
According to the businesses, the NBR's price is excessive.
Bangladesh Shop Owners Association President Helal Uddin told Dhaka Tribune in an interview: "This price is too high and we will not buy the machines at this price.”
The price of this machine in the market is Tk8-10 thousand.
“NBR has fixed this price without discussing it with the businesses. But when we had a meeting with Prime Minister's Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman three to four months ago, we responded to his request and agreed to pay the VAT machine price willingly,” he added.
Upon asking about the pricing, an NBR official told Dhaka Tribune: “Their idea is not correct. businesses will have to pay a lot more to install an EFD and SDC machine if it is imported from abroad. The price set by the NBR is actually token money.”
Why change the decision?
Although it was initially promised to be free, when asked about the reason for the sudden change of decision, Abdul Mannan Sikder told Dhaka Tribune: “Initially in 2019, when there were talks regarding purchasing EFD machines, the NBR thought of taking money from businesses. It was later decided to be given at free of cost in order to encourage businesses. Some EFD machines have already been given away for free.”
“However, we all know about the situation after Covid-19. The government has now directed to reduce expenditure on everything. Moreover, if they spend money on it, they will surely be more careful in preserving and using it,” he added.
He also said: “It will start soon and hopefully by next June we will be able to give at least 10 thousand machines.
It is learned that the government decided to buy EFD machines in 2019 under the NBR's online project as part of the implementation of the new VAT law.
Following this, a meeting of the Procurement Committee on July 24, 2019, approved the tender.
The government spent Tk316 crore to buy 1 lakh EFDs in this project.
Then Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal informed about this, in the first step 10 thousand machines will be bought.
Around two lakh machines will be required to bring all businesses under this system.
These machines will be supplied by the Chinese company SZZT-KMMT and each will cost Tk32,000.
These will be purchased in phases over the next two years around half of that will be bought this year.
According to NBR sources, there are about three and a half lakh shops in the Dhaka metropolis alone and there are about 25 lakh shops all over the country.