Top business organizations of the country placed their proposals regarding the upcoming national budget for the fiscal year 2023-24.
They proposed it at the 43rd Consultative Committee meeting of the NBR organized jointly by the NBR and the FBCCI, Finance Minister AHM Mostafa Kamal was present as chief guest, NBR Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem chaired the meeting while FBCCI President Md Jashim Uddin moderated it.
Placing a set of budget recommendations on behalf of the FBCCI, its president Md Jashim Uddin proposed reducing Advance Income Tax (AIT) in phases at the import stage at 3% from 5% to reduce the cost in industrial production and in trade and commerce.
He also proposed for keeping all the essential consumer items outside the purview of the AIT.
Currently, there is a provision for 2% AIT at the supply stage for all kinds of essential items like rice, wheat, potatoes, onion, garlic, chickpeas, turmeric, chili, corn, flour, salt, edible oil, sugar and all kinds of fruits.
Considering the high cost of living and the high inflation, the country’s apex trade body, also proposed for raising the tax-free income ceiling for individual taxpayers to Taka 4 lakh from the existing Taka 3 lakh.
For female taxpayers and senior citizens, the tax-free income ceiling has been proposed at taka 4.50 lakh from the existing 3.50 lakh.
The FBCCI President proposed imposing value addition based unique 15% VAT on products and services adding that if such VAT is imposed, then various SRO-based imbalanced tax rates and complexities would be removed from products and services. Side by side, the tax management will be simplified.
He also suggested reducing the VAT to 0.5% on the supply of products at wholesale and retail levels adding that the existing 5% VAT has been putting a burden on the business expenditure.
Besides, the FBCCI also proposed widening the coverage of VAT net in order to expand the operations of VAT up to the upazila level.
Besides, the apex trade body also suggested ensuring automation in VAT registration, submission of returns, refunds, and audits to simplify the businesses of the taxpayers and supervision of the VAT authority.
Taking part in the open discussion, Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) president Barrister Sameer Sattar suggested reducing the corporate tax rate by 2.5%.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) vice president Shahidullah Azim suggested for releasing fabric, yarn, and other necessary materials upon guarantee to reduce complexities related to HS code.
BTMA president Mohammad Ali Khokon proposed for withdrawing all types of duties on man-made fibre.
Bangladesh Tanners Association president Shahin Ahmed proposed for withdrawing all sorts of duties on the import of machineries for setting up Effluent Treatment Plants (ETPs) and Central Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs).