Since Bangladesh is poised to prepare itself for post-pandemic recovery strategy as well as keeping up the momentum for the economy returning to double-digit growth amidst unpredictability of the geopolitical environment, American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Bangladesh recommends to tackle the twin challenges focusing on crisis management, prioritising expenditures and foreign exchange reserve, inflation control, infrastructure developments to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) as well as private sector, policy assistance and continuity to emphasise on key procedural matters in following notes:
Agricultural allocation and inflation control
Since food safety ensures a moderate inflation amidst global phenomenon, we expect Agriculture to receive more incentives ensuring unchanged food production. We would appreciate more price reduction of Agricultural equipment and hybrid vehicles.
Foreign exchange reserve
No significant economic growth is conceivable without a sustained Foreign Exchange reserve growth. Hence, instead of gross import ban, we should speed up the foreign-funded projects’ implementation and reconsider own funded projects having a sizeable import component.
Employment generation and social safety
Since the informal sector employs more than 85 per cent of the workforce, the government should increase allocation to these sectors including women & youth-led micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), innovation and start-ups to counter poverty and income inequality by establishing a robust social safety net system.
Automation and contemporary regulations
We strongly recommend the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to adopt automation in all possible levels at the same time to focus more on expanding the Tax net. We suggest introducing the e-payment and e-TDS system and Digital Payments incentives to ensure accountability and transparency throughout the process.
Corporate and advance income tax
We appreciate the recent reduction of corporate tax; however, request the government to continue gradual reduction days ahead and that AIT adjustment and VAT should be withdrawn from industrial raw materials’ import to enhance domestic production capacity.
Climate vulnerability and green economy
Specific measures and corresponding budgetary allocation are essential for the climate resilience livelihood in geographically vulnerable areas. All projects going anti-environment and against the notion of green economy should be abandoned.
Remittance and undisclosed wealth
Given that remittance is a major source of foreign currency, we are not in favour of the system of repatriation of embezzled wealth mixing in disguise with the earnings of hardworking taxpayers of Bangladesh.
Effective logistics system
During pandemic and in recent days we observed how we are struggling to manage this sector. We strongly recommend effective modernisation managing all ports’ operation and allowance of bonded warehouse facilities for non-RMG exports too.