Former Bangladesh Bank governor Mohammed Farashuddin on Thursday termed the mobile banking service a farce and criticised its providers for charging excessively high on the service.
The government should look into the matter as clients are being deceived in the name of mobile banking, he said.
Farashuddin also said that the National Board of Revenue should not have authority of searching the bank accounts of individuals in general, except in emergency cases on specific allegations.
He made the comments at the opening ceremony of the first-ever conference of the deputy commissioners of taxes of the income tax wing of the revenue board held at Officers’ Club in Dhaka.
The revenue board organised the conference to disseminate its strategy and work plan to create a tax-friendly environment in the country and receive feedback from the DCTs who are the main workforce in income tax collection.
‘Mobile banking service providers charge Tk 1.80 for sending Tk 100 while it costs only Tk 0.40 for sending same amount of money through banking channel,’ Farashuddin said.
People who send money through the mobile banking service have also no account, he said.
Raising the question on excessive charge, Farashuddin, also chairman of the board of trustees of the East West University, said the government should regulate the cost of the mobile banking service.
Foreigners are applauding the mobile banking service as foreign companies are being benefited from it but the government should consider the issue deeply as the country’s money is going out and clients are being deceived, he said.
Farashuddin said the revenue board should maintain secrecy of bank accounts and should not look into the bank accounts unless unavoidable necessity arises.
‘It may destroy the confidence of bank account holders,’ he said.
The former BB governor also recommended that the NBR could make electronic taxpayer’s identification number mandatory for transaction above Tk 1 lakh.
Online shopping business should also come under taxation as only well-off people are involved in the business, he said.
Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry president Abdul Matlub Ahmad said that the revenue board would have to extend the hands of cooperation instead of getting tough on them.
He said that tax officials would also have to be transparent in their activities.
Many field-level tax officials have no clear idea about alternative dispute resolution though there is an opportunity to settle disputes involving revenue worth Tk 32,000 crore through the mechanism, Matlub also said.
The NBR chairman Md Nojibur Rahman presided over by the conference.
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