Parliament on Tuesday passed the Finance Bill 2021 allowing whitening of undisclosed money if invested in capital market, purchase of land and properties and establishment of new industries for next fiscal year.
Finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal moved the bill in the House and it was passed by voice vote.
The passage of the bill means a continuation of the government’s policy of whitening undisclosed money – popularly known as black money – for what it argues the greater interest of the economy.
The bill permits individual assesse to bring the untaxed money in the specified sectors with no question asked about the sources of the income and paying taxes at specified rates ranging from 10 per cent to 25 per cent.
The taxes, along with a five per cent penalty on the computed taxes, have to be paid between the first day of July, 2021 and the thirtieth day of June, 2022.
The bill also has details about the mode of payment, tax rates and penalties.
The Finance Bill has included the proposal of excluding Mobile Financial Service entities from the category of companies like banks, insurances and financial institutions.
In this category, the publicly listed companies pay 37.5 per cent tax while non-listed companies pay 40 per cent.
On the other hand, the MFS in the outgoing fiscal pays 32.5 per cent tax.
Kamal, in his winding-up speech, said the budget has given priority to the left-behind sections of the society to help them cope with COVID-19 crisis.
"As per the directives of the prime minister we have to move forward keeping no one behind. Inshallah we shall rise by lifting others," he said.
As in the outgoing fiscal, the minister said that the government has adopted expansionary policy in policy perspective for the next fiscal. As a result, the budget deficit stands at 6.2 per cent which was 6.1 per cent in the last fiscal year.
In this connection, he mentioned that the average budget deficit of the world is 41.53 per cent, while it is 18.72 per cent in the USA, 13.07 per cent in India, 11.88 per cent in China, 6.31 per cent in Indonesia, 8.06 per cent in the Philippines, 6.02 per cent in Vietnam and 12.9 per cent in Japan.
The finance minister said that the whole world is passing through an unprecedented challenging time due to the impact of COVID-19. The natural trend of world economy has been devastated and changed all accountings.
"No one, developed or developing, could escape. Economy of the most of the countries is negative. But, we are lucky, by the grace of Almighty Allah our economy has never fallen in negative trend under the dynamic leadership of prime minister Sheikh Hasina."
Highlighting various macroeconomic achievements over the last 12 years, Kamal said that these unique macroeconomic attainments even surpass the fairy tales.
He mentioned that over this period, the country's per capita income multiplied by three times to $2,227 from $686, the GDP size increased four times to $355 billion from $91.6 billion, the export earnings increased three times from $14.1 billion.
The finance minister said the foreign currency reserve has been multiplied by a whopping 7.5 times to near $46 billion adding that such a huge reserve within a short time is undoubtedly a historic record.
He also mentioned that the inward remittance flow increased by three and a half times to $25 billion from $7.9 billion. "Attaining $25 billion as inward remittance in just one year is also undoubtedly a unique historic record."
Opposition bench members Pir Fazlur Rahman, Harun Ur Rashid, Begum Rawshan Ara Mannan, Rumeen Farhana, Mosharrof Hossain, Rezaul Karim Bablu and Shamim Haider Patwari proposed publishing the Finance Bill for eliciting public opinions.
The proposals other amendments from the opposition legislators were rejected by voice vote.
The House accepted some amendments to the Finance Bill, 2021 from ruling party lawmakers Abdus Shahid, Abu Sayeed Al Mahmud Swapan and Washika Ayesha Khan.