'In the proposed budget, VAT was relaxed for women entrepreneurs but no such facilities were given for income tax'
Women entrepreneurs have expressed disappointment with the proposed fiscal year 2019-20 budget as most of their demands were not taken into consideration.
Women Entrepreneurs Network for Development Association (WEND) made the statement at a press conference at the Economic Reporters’ Forum (ERF) in the capital on Tuesday.
In a written statement, WEND President, Dr Nadia Binte Amin, said: “To ensure a better environment for women entrepreneurs, an eight point demand was given to be included in the budget for FY2019-20. But most of our demands were not included in the draft budget.”
Nadia said: “In the proposed budget, VAT was relaxed for women entrepreneurs but no such facilities were given for income tax.”
“We proposed the tax-free income limit be increased for women to Tk5 lakh from the existing Tk3 lakh.”
“Women entrepreneurs will be able to expand their businesses if the existing tax-free limit is increased,” she added.
Nadia said they previously demanded a reduction in the corporate tax rate for companies operated by women entrepreneurs. But in the proposed budget the prevalent rates were retained, without taking their demands into consideration.
Their demands for a training institute for skill development of women entrepreneurs, establishing a help desk for women entrepreneurs in every division, increasing the number of women representatives sent to all international fairs and conferences, and providing plots in economic zones for them, also did not come into consideration in the draft budget.
They hoped the government would consider these reasonable requests with sympathy and a positive attitude, and would make the necessary adjustments to the proposed budget to make women strong enough to implement “Vision 2021 and 2041”.
Nevertheless, Nadia praised the government for giving the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) sector the opportunity to pay turnover tax at a 4% rate, for annual turnovers ranging from Tk50 lakh to Tk3 crore.