CPD said the government has set a target to retain the inflation rate within 5.6 per cent in the next fiscal 2022-2023. But the finance minister hasn’t said how this target would be achieved.

In his budget speech in parliament, finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Thursday proposed to bring back laundered money to the country by paying 7.5 per cent tax.

He said the government is going to give this scope to the launderers for the first time. If any one brings money back to the country paying 7.5 per cent tax, they will not be questioned by any other law in the country.

The minister said, anyone will be allowed to show their immovable assets abroad in the country’s tax return by giving 15 per cent of tax while the figure is 10 per cent for movable assets and 7 per cent for laundered money. The government will not take any legal action in connection with the matter.

CPD distinguished fellow Mustafizur Rahman said the scope to whiten black money was given in the past as well. But very few took this advantage. This time the money siphoned off the country is going to get the opportunity to be legalised. It is politically, economically and ethically unacceptable, he added.

Referring to the scam of PK Halder, the distinguished fellow questioned whether a fugitive would bring his money to the country paying tax after this announcement?

However, this scope will not be effective. It will fuel more money laundering, he warned.

The national election is ahead. No one will bring back their money into the country at this moment, Mustafizur Rahman added.

CPD claimed a section of people will be benefited in the proposed budget. There is no specific measure mentioned in the budget in controlling inflation. The allocation hasn’t been increased in the social safety net programmmes.

They said there is a serious lack of creativity as well as sensitivity in the budget.

Fahmida Khatun said it is being said that the inflation rate will be kept at 5.6 per cent in the next FY, which does not correspond with the reality. There is no similarity between the prices of the commodities in the market and the government statistics. The finance minister hasn’t shown the way by which inflation will be decreased.

CPD senior research fellow Towfiqul Islam Khan said affluent will get more advantages than that of poor in the proposed budget.

He claimed the middle class is highly ignored in this budget. The increase of tax on laptops isn't fair, which hints that those who formulated the budget have no connection with the current market.

Such a budget has been placed which will allow the launderers to bring their money back to the nation. But there is no strict step and institutional measure mentioned in the proposed budget in preventing tax evasion, the senior researcher lamented.

CPD said the finance minister talked about six challenges in the recommended budget. But he hasn’t directed how the challenges will be overcome. Although the election will be held next year, no election-bound steps have been seen in the budget. Apart from this, allocations for women and social safety have been reduced.

CPD research director Golam Moazzem said the initiative of bringing laundered money back to the country is a slap to the honest taxpayers. It is not only an advantage but also impunity, he added.

Moazzem hoped that the government would backtrack from this decision.

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