MPs to lose tax-exemption privilege on car imports 

Representational image of national budget

The members of parliament (MPs) are likely to lose the long-standing privilege of exemption from customs duties and taxes on import of cars, jeeps, and microbuses as the government would amend the associated law. 

In his budget speech on Thursday, finance minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali encouraged all to come out of the culture of tax exemption and asked the minister concerned to make necessary amendments to the law related to tax exemption for the parliament members. 

“We are encouraging everyone to pay tax and to come out of the culture regarding tax exemption. A noble example will be set if the public representatives amend this privilege and lead everyone to come out of tax exemption culture,” he said.

“I am requesting the concerned honourable minister to make necessary amendment in the members of parliament (remuneration and allowances) order, 1973 accordingly," he added.

Currently, the parliamentarians are entitled to import cars without bearing any duty, a practice which has been in place for 36 years. However, it leads to a substantial loss of revenue for the government.

It was learned that the imposition of import duty is being considered due to the conditions set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a $4.7 billion loan scheme.

As per the law, one importing a car worth Tk 10 million would face an immensely higher cost, including 25 per cent import duty and 500 per cent supplementary duty, totaling at Tk 65 million.