The Bangladesh Army objected to the uniform of customs and VAT officers and employees of the National Board of Revenue as the colour of the uniform is identical to the working dress of the force.
The revenue board in December 2019 formally introduced the olive-coloured service uniform for customs and VAT employees considering that the dress would make their presence visible and would protect them, who often come under attacks and harassment due to confusion over their identities in public space.
Though wearing uniform has been made mandatory for everyone in customs and VAT departments, the NBR is yet to procure uniforms for all employees as it is waiting for fund allocation for this.
The Armed Forces Division under the Prime Minister’s Office on February 2 in a letter to the NBR said that the uniform of customs and VAT departments was similar to the working dress of the Bangladesh Army.
The working dress was introduced with approval of the prime minister, and since then armed forces members have been using the dress, it said.
The similarity in dresses may create confusion among people during discharging responsibilities and conducting operations, the AFD added.
In addition, there is a sub-committee at the home ministry to coordinate the uniformity of dresses, ranks and badges of the state security forces and other specialised forces, it said.
The Armed Forced Division also said that the NRB took no approval from the committee for introducing the uniform.
In this context, the AFD requested the Revenue Board to bring expected differences in the uniform of customs and VAT employees.
Revenue Board officers said that the NBR had already taken steps to settle the dispute.
An NBR committee formed in April 2018 framed some rules of execution and suggested the introduction of the uniform for customs and VAT employees.
Customs Policy wing of the NBR has recently recommended that the committee should be given the responsibility for dealing with the objection and take necessary measures.
Customs Policy wing in July 29 requested the customs and VAT administration branch of the NBR to take necessary steps, they said.
They, however, said that the NBR introduced the uniform after taking approval from the government high-ups.
The officers said that the Revenue Board framed Bangladesh Customs and VAT Clothing Rules 2019 under which the uniform was introduced.
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