President of the association Professor Abul Barkat made the recommendation while placing their budget proposal to the National Board of Revenue
The Bangladesh Economic Association (BEA) has demanded that the upcoming budget for the fiscal year 2019-20 should have directives for recovering at least Tk20,000 crore undisclosed money.
President of the association Professor Abul Barkat made the recommendation while placing their budget proposal to the National Board of Revenue on Tuesday in a pre-budget talk at NBR office.
NBR chairman Mosharraf Hussain Bhuiyan along with other NBR official was present at the discussion.
Professor Barkat said: “Be it termed black or undisclosed money, it is a sensitive issue for our country.”
“As per our estimation from unpublished government data, there are about Tk5 to 7 lakh crore undisclosed money in the country, which is bigger than our one-year budget,” he claimed.
“The country needs to recover this huge amount of money but this should not be in such a way which will encourage honest people to be dishonest.
“How to resolve the issue of undisclosed money should be incorporated in the budget,” he proposed.
The association, a platform of the country’s leading economists, also proposed for formalizing at least Tk20,000 crore this year.
On the other hand, the association urged NBR for tightening monitoring and stop money laundering.
It claimed that every year about Tk70,000 crore to Tk80,000 crore was being laundered.
“We are proposing that NBR collect Tk25,000 crore in the upcoming fiscal by checking money laundering,” said Barkat.
The BEA’s proposal said the upcoming budget would be the first for the new government formed through the 11th parliamentary polls.
The budget should keep instructions or plans on how the government’s 21-point manifesto including village turning into city and turning youths into manpower would be achieved.
However, the 26-page proposal summarized its total speech in five points — ensuring high growth, reducing multidimensional inequality, making skilled youth, taking global opportunities and initiatives for home-grown development.
Prof Barkat referring to some studies said revenue policy influenced the society.
“So our revenue policy should be for the welfare of people. It must be based on our constitution,” he said, adding that the policy should be designed in such a way that it could help reducing poverty, decreasing dependency on foreign aid.
However, BEA proposal suggested NBR to increase duties on imports and decrease taxes on locally produced goods to promote local industries.
Besides, more emphasis should be put on collecting direct taxes rather than indirect revenue to exempt poor people from taxes, the proposal said.
It said more revenue should be collected from the rich.
“The number of large taxpayers should be five-times more than what we hear,” said Barkat.
For this, BEA suggested that the revenue collecting authorities expand their offices to union level and ensure submitting returns and tax payment.
The NBR chairman, in his speech, said they would consider the association’s proposal in formulating budget proposal.
“We gave opportunity to whitening the black money but it did not give us any fruitful result,” he said.
On money laundering issues, the NBR chief said three to four government agencies were working on the issue and hoped a positive result would come soon.