The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry has informed prime minister Sheikh Hasina that the business community is in fear that there could be attempts to create political instability in the country if the new VAT law is implemented.
In a letter sent to the prime minister on Saturday, the FBCCI also expressed its apprehension about an unexpected rise in prices of products and an adverse impact on small and medium entrepreneurs and traders if the Value-Added Tax and Supplementary Duty Act-2012 is implemented without bringing amendments to the new law in line with the recommendations made by of an NBR-FBCCI joint committee.
‘The business community is worried that there could be attempts to create political instability in the country by utilising the resentment and agitation of small and medium traders,’ the letter signed by FBCCI president Abdul Matlub Ahmad said.
Implementation of the new VAT act from July 1, 2016 without amendment may also hamper the country’s economic progress, he said.
The National Board of Revenue-FBCCI joint committee on January 15 submitted its seven-point recommendations on the new VAT law, which have not implemented yet.
The recommendations include increasing VAT-free turnover ceiling to Tk 36 lakh, setting turnover VAT at 3 per cent for turnover up to Tk 1.5 crore, setting VAT at 4 per cent for traders who are unable to get rebate and at 2 per cent for traders who sell products at fixed prices.
VAT should also be imposed only on value-added portion, the trade body said.
The FBCCI has been requesting the government to bring necessary amendments to the new law but is yet to get any positive response in this regard, the letter claimed adding that the apex trade body in last two months separately requested finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, commerce minister Tofail Ahmed and the NBR to bring amendments to the law before its implementation.
It is important to implement the recommendations made by the joint committee for the sake of national interest, the FBCCI said.
Earlier on April 24, the FBCCI sent another letter to the prime minister with the similar request.
‘In this context, we are seeking your kind directives for resolving the important issue,’ Matlub wrote in the letter.
NBR chairman Md Nojibur Rahman, however, on Sunday said that the finance minister was working on the issue.
In reply to a question regarding businesses’ demand for amending the new VAT law, Nojibur told reporters that the finance minister himself was involved in the issue and was now working on it.
The revenue board will be waiting for his (finance minister) instruction on the issue, he said after a budget preparation meeting in which Muhith was present. The meeting was held at the revenue board office in Dhaka.
Nojibur said that the problems, if there is any, would be resolved as the finance minister was looking after the matter.
He also said that there would be all kinds of protection for the domestic industry and there was no reason to be worried for honest businesses.
Source: New Age