Tax for banking, financial institutions reduced to 'lure' investors

Finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith has lowered corporate tax by 2.5 per cent for banking, financial institutions, terming it a positive message to investors.

“I propose to reduce tax rates for banks and financial institutions by 2.5 per cent,” said the finance minister in his budget speech of 2018-19 on Thursday at parliament.

Expressing apprehensions of losing tax revenue due to such rationalisation of corporate tax rates, he however said, “This will give a positive signal to our investors.”

The finance minister kept corporate tax rates for other companies unchanged for the next financial year.

But, he blasted those who criticise current corporate tax rates as high, and said, “This is not correct. Corporate tax for publicly traded companies in Bangladesh is 25 per cent, which is lower than many countries in South Asia and very compatible with the global average (24.29 per cent).”

“With this proposed rate, our highest corporate tax rate will be at the most 40 per cent, and next highest rate will be 37.5 per cent, except for tobacco manufacturers and non-listed mobile phone operators.”