Budget to put pressure on current tax payers: MCCI

Staff Correspondent . Dhaka | Update:

A Prothom Alo IllustrationExisting tax payers of the country will be under immense pressure if the National Board of Revenue (NBR) tries to realise the amount of tax targeted in the proposed budget for 2019-20 fiscal, the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (MCCI) said.

The amount is 16.29 per cent higher than the revised budget of the current fiscal year (2018-19).

The chamber leaders in a statement also expressed their disappointment at corporate tax rate not being reduced and the increase of the tax-free income threshold which has remained the same for the last five years.

The threshold is Tk 250,000 for male taxpayers and Tk 300,000 for female taxpayers.

They said the threshold of tax-free income should be increased considering the almost five per cent inflation rate.

The leaders of the hundred-year-old commerce body stressed on ramping up of all kinds of investment, including that of the foreign investment, to transform the country into a middle income one by 2021.

They identified existing inadequate infrastructure, power and energy shortage and red tape as prime hindrances to achieve targeted growth and investment. Besides, duty deficit and weakness in implementing the Annual Development Programme (ADP) have become a headache.

MCCI praised the government for taking several steps in the budget to strengthen the stock market. The business body, however, is apprehensive with the proposal to impose 15 per cent tax on bonus profit.

This imposition will hinder the listed companies to acquire capital and reinvest, the body said. It however, welcomed the step to increase the ceiling of tax-free profit income for investors from 25,000 taka to 50,000 taka.

MCCI expected the formation of ‘bank commission’ in proper time as stated by the finance minister in his budget speech. The MCCI leaders hoped the commission will direct the banks and financial institutions to resolve the ongoing crises.

They also requested the government to be careful so that businesses do not face hindrances while implementing the new VAT law and the tax payers do not face harassment for minor mistakes.

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