National Board of Revenue chairman Md Nojibur Rahman on Saturday claimed that most of the criticisms levelled at the new VAT law were based on ‘myths’.
‘The criticisms about the new Value-Added Tax and Supplementary Duty Act-2012 are far from the truth. The actual truth is not reflected in the criticisms,’ he said at a workshop on the proposed budget for the fiscal year of 2017-2018.
The Bangladesh Tax Training Institute organised the two-day workshop at the Customs, Excise and VAT Commissionerate auditorium of the Institute of Diploma Engineers, Bangladesh in the capital Dhaka.
Nojibur said people should be informed about the facts of the new VAT law that would come into force from July 1.
Objective discussions about the law are needed to remove ambiguity, if any, in the new law, he said.
Research organisations including the Centre for Policy Dialogue, economists and the business community have been criticising various measures including imposition of single VAT rate at 15 per cent in the new VAT law.
Economists and businesses apprehend that the implementation of the new law would push up the cost of living and cause inflation.
The law will increase tax burden on middle-income and lower middle-income groups of people, they said.
The CPD said that the VAT rate (15 per cent) in the country was higher than those in the countries having similar economy.
The NBR chairman said that the Bangladesh government had kept most of the essential commodities outside the purview of the VAT regime, whereas neighbouring India imposed 5-12 per cent VAT on those products.
The rate of VAT is 15 per cent in Bangladesh, whereas the rate varies from 18 per cent to 28 per cent in India, he said.
The NBR, however, is gathering opinions from various stakeholders including the business community on the proposed budget to make it business- and investment-friendly, he said.
Nojibur said the NBR would get the final directives regarding the budget after the approval of the Finance Bill in parliament.
NBR’s Alternative Dispute Resolution facilitator Syed Aminul Karim, NBR members Parvez Iqbal and Lutfar Rahman, NBR commissioner Ranjan Kumar Bhaumik and BTTI chief executive officer Shyamol Chandra Sarker spoke, among others, at the programme presided over by BTTI chief adviser Shyamal Kanti Ghosh.
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