Medium and small traders on Thursday called for a protest rally on October 30 and a day-long strike in the business houses on November 2 demanding reforms of the Value Added Tax structure through discussion with the business people and protesting at harassment.
At a press conference at National Press Club in the city, Babosayee Oikkya Forum leaders urged the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry and National Board of Revenue to resolve the VAT related issue through a partnership dialogue saying that the exiting VAT system introduced in the new budget was an impediment for business.
‘The FBCCI held several meetings with NBR chairman and members over the package VAT related issue and even the apex trade body held meeting with finance minister AMA Muhit and placed VAT related proposals. But we are yet to get any positive response,’ Abu Motaleb, general secretary of Babosayee Oikkya Forum, said.
He said that government increased the package VAT to Tk 28,000 from Tk 14,000 with the businesses having annual turnover below Tk 80 lakh, but it is unrealistic as the turnover of a small shop in Dhaka is TK 1 crore.
Businesses want to pay VAT but the budget for the financial year 2016-17 posed serious impediment to the business setting turnover limit at Tk 80 lakh, Motaleb said.
‘The business people who want to pay VAT are being harassed while the NBR officials managed the people who are not willing to pay VAT,’ he said.
Motaleb demanded for the withdrawal of the turnover limit for the package VAT.
To press home the demand, medium and small traders called for the protest rally in front of the FBCCI on October 30 and a day-long strike in the business houses on November 2.
‘We do believe that if the FBCCI takes effective initiative the government would be forced to meet the demand of small and medium businesses,’ Motaleb said.
If the FBCCI failed to play its due role and the demands were not meet within November 12 the businesses would besiege the FBCCI office and NBR office, he said.
Babosayee Oikkya Forum president Abdus Salam, Dhaka Mohanagar Shop Owners Association president Toufiq Ehsan, Paduka Prostutkarak Samiti president Shakhawat Hossain, among others, were present at the press conference.
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