The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry on Saturday urged the government to reduce dependency on the banking sector by focusing on foreign sources to meet deficit financing.
‘We request government to meet deficit financing in the proposed budget from foreign sources, infrastructure fund and infrastructure bonds as the government borrowing from banks hinders private sector credit flow,’ FBCCI president Sheikh Fazle Fahim said at a press conference on the proposed budget for the financial year of 2019-20, held at the conference room of the apex trade body in capital Dhaka.
Fahim, son of ruling Awamil League lawmaker Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim and nephew of prime minister Sheikh Hasina, termed the budget business-friendly and public welfare-oriented one and said that the fiscal plan would expedite the development of the country.
He welcomed the budget proposal over legalising undisclosed or untaxed money through investment saying that in some cases legally earned money could become undisclosed one but the money was not ‘black money’.
In the proposed budget, the government set Tk 3,25,600 crore revenue collection target through the National Board of Revenue, which is 16.28 per cent higher than the revised target for the outgoing fiscal year (2018-19), and it is possible to achieve the target through ensuring proper automation and hassle-free tax collection system, the FBCCI president said.
In the pre-budget discussion, the FBCCI had proposed that the government reduce corporate tax but the government kept the tax rate unchanged in the proposed budget.
Asked whether investment would be hampered due to corporate tax rate, Faim said the proposed budget was aligned with the 6th and 7th Five-Year plans targeting 8.2 per cent growth in the gross domestic product.
‘We proposed cut in corporate tax so that cost of business is reduced,’ he said.
Regarding the implementation of new value-added tax law, the FBCCI president said that the trade body would work with the NBR to resolve any problem arose in the process.
Fahim said that the proposals in the budget for multiple VAT rates, VAT exemption on rent of a business showroom run by woman entrepreneurs, keeping small and marginal traders with an annual turnover up to Tk 50 lakh out of VAT were business friendly.
He said that the allocation of Tk 100 crore as startup capital would be helpful to generate employment in the country.
The FBCCI president said that the proposal for crop insurance was a progressive initiative to protect the interest of farmers.
Fahim hoped that the proposed budget would eliminate all types of harassment in all stages of business and remove barriers to ensuring ease of doing business.
He also hoped that the budget would not increase consumers’ expenditures and it would ensure safe foods.
FBCCI vice-presidents Md Siddiqur Rahman, Hasina Newaaz and Nizam Uddin Ahmed attended, among others, the press conference.
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