JS panel chairs for incentive for consumers against VAT payment

Finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith speaks at a pre-budget discussion with chairpersons of the parliamentary standing committees on different ministries held at the National Economic Council auditorium in Dhaka on Sunday. — New Age photoChairpersons of the parliamentary standing committees on different ministries on Sunday recommended introducing cash incentives for consumers against their payment of value-added tax to prevent VAT evasion by traders and encourage people to pay the tax.
At a pre-budget discussion with finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith held at the National Economic Council auditorium in Dhaka, they also sought intervention of the government in restraining the increasing interest rates on bank loans.
The government may also explore the possibility of introducing mandatory income tax filing for all, raising tax-free income ceiling to Tk 5 lakh and giving tax cards to the highest taxpayers at upazila level, they said.
They also sought special initiatives including setting up special economic zones and agro-processed industry in deprived and lagging-behind regions of the country for job creation.
Parliamentary standing committee on the environment and forests ministry chairperson Hasan Mahmud proposed giving cash incentives to consumers against their VAT payment to encourage them to receive invoices from traders.
Consumers will receive invoices from shopkeepers as a proof of payment of VAT and submit to the authorised tax offices at the end of the year to claim the cash incentives, he said.
The tax authority will then refund a portion, for example 20 per cent, of his/her total VAT payment in the year.
Hasan also proposed introducing mandatory income tax filing for all, irrespective of having taxable income or not.
Md Tajul Islam, chairperson of the standing committee on power, energy and mineral resources ministry, said that the government should examine whether the rising bank interest rates would put any adverse impact on productive sectors in the economy.
He also emphasised providing tax benefits both to users and producers of energy efficient equipment to save energy and promote environment-friendly industrialisation.
Primary and mass education ministry standing committee chairperson Md Motahar Hossain proposed setting January-December as the fiscal year from the current July-June to prevent wastage of public fund in development works.
‘At least 10 per cent to 15 per cent of public money is drained during the rainy season in the name of development works. The government should carefully examine how the rate of ADP implementation makes such a big jump in May and June,’ he said.
He also alleged syndicates sell tenders, after winning bids, to others in exchange of commission, which increases the cost of development works and reduces quality.
In response, Muhith said that all taxpayers, irrespective of the amount of tax, would get tax card.
‘A taxpayer will get the card if he or she pays tax worth Tk 1,’ he said.
He also said that the government had nothing to do for restraining interest rates on bank loans as it was determined by the market forces.
The finance minister also said that they would increase the tax rate up to 300 per cent for smokeless tobacco products including gul and zarda to discourage consumption of the products, which are harmful for human health.
Fisheries and livestock ministry parliamentary standing committee chairperson Mir Showkat Ali Badsha, defence ministry committee chairperson Shubid Ali Bhuiyan, science and technology ministry committee chairperson AFM Ruhal Haque, railway ministry committee chairperson ABM Fazle Karim Chowdhury, youth and sports ministry committee chairperson Zahid Ahsan Russel and cultural affairs ministry chairperson Simeen Hussain Rimi spoke, among others, at the programme.

Source: New Age.


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