Commerce minister Tofail Ahmed on Sunday said that income tax at source on export proceeds would possibly return to its previous rate (0.70 per cent) for the current fiscal year of 2018-2019.
At a dialogue on the sustainable development goals, he said that he raised objection during the budget formulation process against the increase of the tax to 1 per cent for the current fiscal year from the previous FY’s 0.70 per cent.
Business leaders from the export sectors have already held a meeting with the prime minister and discussed the issue, he said.
The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry arranged the institutional dialogue with the SDG wing of the Prime Minister’s Office on role of private sector in achieving SDGs at the Westin Hotel in Dhaka.
Tofail said that exporters might play an important role in achieving the SDG targets if they were provided with required facilities.
But, the corporate income tax has been reduced by 2.5 per cent for banks, while it has been raised for exporters in the national budget, he said.
The National Board of Revenue also increased the source tax to 1 per cent in the budget.
Possibly, it will again come back to 0.70 per cent, he added.
He said that export earnings from goods reached $37 billion in the just concluded fiscal year of 2017-2018.
Of which, earnings from readymade garment items stood at $30 billion, he said, adding that overall export earnings from goods and services reached $41.5 billion in the year.
FBCCI president Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said that a delegation of exporters on Sunday held a meeting with prime minister Sheikh Hasina to press for their demand for reducing the source tax on export.
He said that the government would have to provide all necessary policy support and conducive business environment including an improved ease of doing business to achieve the SDGs.
About the recent cut in interest rate by banks, he said that he, as the president of the FBCCI, at a recent meeting requested the prime minister to take steps in this connection.
Principal coordinator of the SDG affairs at the PMO Abul Kalam Azad said that it would not possible for the government employees alone to achieve the SDGs.
The private sector must come forward in this regard, he said, adding that more than half of the financing
must come from the private sector to achieve the target.
At the dialogue, businessmen took part in 10 separate thematic discussions on issues like entrepreneurship and youth employment, quality education and skill development, urbanisation, infrastructure, access to food, health care, environment and public private partnership.
FBCCI vice-president Md Muntakim Ashraf spoke, among others, at the programme.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Banking