Outbound passengers are paying extra while buying tickets for going abroad as the government has increased the travel tax in all the three means of ways air, land and river routes.
The government has increased the travel tax rates for the outgoing passengers for any destinations to further enhance the revenue collection during the ongoing fiscal year 2014-15.
From July 1, passengers are counting Tk4,000 for visiting North/South America, Europe, Africa, Australia, New Zealand and far-east. The rate increased by Tk1,000 from the previous tax.
The travel tax was raised to Tk1, 200 from existing Tk1, 000 for visiting the SAARC countries and the new rate for other countries is now set at Tk3, 000 from the existing Tk2,500.
Sakib Hasan, managing director of Al Fahad Air Ticketing and Medical Tourism Ltd, informed the Dhaka Tribune that all the ticket prices have already gone up since July 1.
“All the outbound passengers have to pay tax as per the new structures fixed for the FY14-15 and we have already started collecting the new tax from July 1,” he said.
For travelling through land routes, the rate was raised at Tk500 from the existing Tk300 while for river routes, the rate is now Tk800, which was earlier Tk500 in the just concluded FY2013-14.
The travel agencies usually collect the travel tax, on behalf of the government, while booking the tickets for the passengers and later on deposit the taxes in the government exchequer.
Currently, there is a travel tax waiver benefit for infants, cancer patients, physically challenged, foreign diplomats and their families, UN officials, cabin crews and the people going to perform hajj and umrah.
Regarding the recent travel tax hike, president of Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies Mohammed Abul Basher said: Around 5 lakh people are being migrated from Bangladesh to different countries annually and they should not be charged with the extra tax as they send a huge amount of remittance to the country.
“The new tax should be imposed only on those passengers with tourism purposes and it should not be imposed on the migrant workers,” he opined.
The government had received Tk492 crore as travel tax from July to April of FY13-14, according to NBR data.