Finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Saturday reiterated that the government would start implementation of the new VAT law from July.
‘VAT system already exists in the country and we will try to comprehensively run the system under the new law,’ he told reporters before attending a meeting with National board of Revenue officials at NBR headquarters in Dhaka.
Implementation of VAT is a continuous process and no country in the world could complete the process overnight or in a year, he said.
He made the comments in reply to a query about the recent letter of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry sent to NBR questioning its preparedness to implement the new Value-Added Tax and Supplementary Duty Act-2012.
NBR on May 5 in the letter claimed that the implementation of ‘unprepared and much lingered in terms of re-evaluation’ VAT law would fuel inflation which may lead to public suffering, resentment and instability in the society.
Kamal said that FBCCI might claim that, the government was not ready but the government was bringing changes, including introduction of multiple VAT rates, to the law as per demand of the business community.
He also said that earlier businesses did not let NBR to implement the law and this year the government would implement the law through budget.
In reply to a question over observations of South Asian Network on Economic Modeling on the country’s economic growth and its quality, Kamal criticised the research organisations, without naming any, saying that Bangladesh’s economic growth was being praised across the globe.
International Monetary Fund on May 6 termed Bangladesh one of the 20 drivers of global economic growth drivers which would grow more than 3.6 per cent up to 2024, he said.
Only local organisations didn’t see the progress, he said.
If the organisations get jobs from the government then it is fine and, if they don’t get jobs then the relations start worsening, he claimed.
He requested the organisations to come up with ‘numbers’ not ‘assumptions’.
Kamal also said that they would carry out some major reforms initiatives in NBR to boost revenue collection.
‘We will also have to increase institutional capacity and manpower to raise tax-GDP ratio which is below 9 per cent against our expectation of 17 per cent to 18 per cent,’ he said.
NBR chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain said that revenue collection grew by 7.50 per cent in July-March period of the current fiscal year 2018-2019 against 20 per cent of last year.
Revenue collection will rise in last two months as a big chunk of advance income tax and tax deduction at source on import and development budget implementation come during the months, he added.
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