Finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Sunday directed customs authorities to scan all import and export products at all customs points at ports across the country to prevent loss of revenue.
At a meeting with customs and value-added tax commissioners of National Board of Revenue, the minister said that authorities must continue scanning all products until they felt a ‘comfort zone’ had been created with no loss of revenue collection.
On top of this, customs officials will also conduct physical inspection on at least 10 per cent of total import and export products to crosscheck with scanning results, he said at a press briefing after the meeting held at NEC conference room in Dhaka.
All types of products including capital machinery, spare parts, intermediary goods and raw materials will come under mandatory scanning process, he added.
He also asked NBR for taking steps to procure required scanners and deploy adequate manpower to comply with the instruction.
Currently, customs houses including Chattogram Customs House (CCH) and Benapole Customs House conduct scanning of only a portion of products based on risk factors due to lack of scanners, manpower and other logistics.
Kamal also said that the government would establish tax offices in all districts to expand tax net.
Regarding pending disputes on taxes, he said that taxpayers had right to file cases against any decision of NBR but they would have to pay a certain amount of taxes before filing cases.
He also instructed NBR to increase the number of electronic fiscal device (EFD) to one lakh from 10,000 to collect VAT from businesses.
He said that the revenue administration had already identified those sources and sectors from where the government had not been getting taxes at a desired level side by side where the distortions and inconsistencies lied.
Kamal said that the income tax, VAT and customs departments would work in a more firm way to run the tax administration and management and thus attain the desired goal.
‘Our main goal is to raise the revenue collection. We’re still lagging behind in the tax-GDP ratio and we have to have a prosperous growth in the tax-GDP ratio through addressing the barriers. We’re taking all measures to attain that target,’ he added.
At the meeting, NBR chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said NBR wanted to implement the new VAT law from July.
Before that, NBR will hold discussions with the business community on any required amendments to the law, he said.
All commissioners of customs and VAT and other high officials of NBR and finance ministry attended the meeting, first one with Kamal after he assumes office of the finance ministry.
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