Business leaders of the country urged the government to simplify and automation of the overall taxation system and continue tax reforms to facilitate the private sector to grow further in order to compete in the international market.
They also said that the economy is shrinking due to the Russia-Ukraine war. Dollar-crisis and high inflation have made business difficult as the cost of doing business has increased due to the rise in fuel prices.
Moreover, in 2026, the country will be graduated from the list of least developed countries (LDC) which will bring new challenges. Keeping these issues in mind, the budget for the next financial year (2023-2024) should be prepared.
They revealed it while speaking at a pre-budget discussion, organized by the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) in association with Daily Samakal and Channel 24 at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC).
Private Sector Industry and Investment Adviser to the Prime Minister Salman F Rahman said that tax-GDP won’t increase without automation of NBR.
“Our taxation system is more dependent on indirect taxation,” he added.
Former FBCCI President Shafiul Islam said that the NBR should have to hear more from the business community to address their problems.
In tariff related issues, he said Bangladesh Tariff Commission should play their due role while the NBR should execute the policies and only then better outcomes would come.
AK Azad said the price hike of power, energy and gas has put the industries and industrial production under pressure. He said if energy prices come down in the international market, then the prices in Bangladesh should also be revised.
DCCI President Barrister Md. Sameer Sattar moderated the live telecast programme and said only 3 million people submit their tax returns every year, but the number should be expanded to at least 10 to 20 million.
He requested to reduce at least 2.5% corporate tax for the non-listed companies and enhancing the tax-free income limit for the individual taxpayers to Taka 5 lakh from the existing Taka 3 lakh considering the current inflation and cost of living.
Chairman of Pran-RFL Group Ahsan Khan Chowdhury stressed on the need for raising exports especially of light engineering items, furniture, electronics, ensuring export diversification, extending the bond facilities in the North Bengal, simplifying and rationalizing the government procedures.
BTMA President Mohammad Ali Khokon recommended for withdrawing tariff and non-tariff issues on man-made fibre and recycled products in the next budget.
Director of BGMEA Asif Ashraf stressed on taking all-out efforts for availing post LDC grace period for six years alongside signing more PTAs and FTAs.
State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam also spoke as special guests.
FBCCI president Md. Jashim Uddin, economists and business people also spoke at the event.