The National Board of Revenue has made no significant progress in carrying out an impact assessment of new value-added tax law even after around three and half months of taking the decision.
In a meeting with the businesses community and other stakeholders held on October 8, 2017, the revenue board took the decision of conducting a research to find out actual impact of the law before its implementation from July 2019.
The revenue board also decided to carry out the study by an independent local research organisation or a consortium in line with recommendation of business community, particularly the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry to make the study outcome credible and acceptable to all.
Officials of the NBR on Saturday told New Age that the VAT Online Project (VOP) on January 18 sent an unofficial note to the VAT policy wing of the NBR on implementation of the decision of the meeting.
VOP also selected six research organisations through which the study could be conducted, they said.
The organisations include Bangladesh Institute of Development Study, Department of Development Studies of Dhaka University, BRAC Institute of Governance and Development of BRAC University, Policy Research Institute, Bangladesh Economic Association and Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS).
A high official of the NBR said the VOP also informed
the organisations about the decision and till now only one organisation has communicated with the project authorities showing interest to conduct the research.
The selected organisations could carry out the research by forming a consortium or an organisation could do the job individually, he said.
The revenue board wanted an independent organisation to carry out the research so that no one could raise questions about the neutrality and credibility of the outcome, he said.
The decision including selection of organisation would be finalised after getting response from other organisations as well as directives from the NBR, officials said.
Sources of the FBCCI told New Age that the NBR should expedite the process as it has already spent more than seven and half months since the postponement of the law in June, 2017.
It has less than one and half years in hand to resolve all contentions and disputed issues with the business community before rolling out the law in July 2019.
An independent study might show the right direction in this regard, they said.
The government deferred the implementation of the law by two years following strong opposition of the businesses on some major issues including abolition of package VAT, truncated rate, tariff value and introduction of single VAT rate at 15 per cent.
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