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Withdraw SoE deposits from banks unwilling to disburse stimulus

FBCCI president urges government

Staff Correspondent | Published: 22:37, Jun 27,2020

 
 

Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry president Sheikh Fazle Fahim speaks at a press conference on the proposed budget for the financial year 2020-21 at its office in Dhaka on Saturday. — New Age photo

The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry on Saturday urged the government to withdraw deposits of state-owned enterprises from banks which were not implementing the stimulus package announced to support businesses to fight the COVID-19 fallout.

At a press conference on the proposed budget for the financial year 2020-21, FBCCI president Sheikh Fazle Fahim also demanded necessary actions against people who did not implement the VAT Online project of National Board of Revenue despite spending around Tk 600 crore on it.

The FBCCI president said that the government announced a set of stimulus packages to offset the COVID-19 shocks to various sectors but many of the banks were showing unwillingness to implement the stimulus announced for the small and medium enterprises.

‘A quarter is trying to create confusion over the stimulus package and we will request the government to withdraw its deposits from banks which will not stand by the people and to increase deposits at banks which will implement the package,’ Fahim said.

He said that the stimulus packages could be the game changer for the country in increasing the investment-gross domestic product ratio.

Fahim said that the stimulus packages could also be an opportunity to bring 84 per cent of the country’s informal economy under the formal sector.

The FBCCI president said that the trade body would not back any willful defaulters and or financial scamsters in receiving loans from the fiscal stimulus.

The federation president also raised questions about the role of a section of National Board of Revenue officials who were involved in implementation of the VAT Online project.

He said that although they had already spent Tk 600 crore on the project, the integrated automated customs duty and value added tax system had not been implemented and they had instead added some clauses in the VAT law this year which will lead to many complexities.

A quarter is not willing to implement an integrated automated system as they would no longer get any undue benefits under an automated system, Fahim said.

‘The government should take necessary action against those who are creating obstacles in implementation of the VAT online project and are stipulating anti-people provisions in the VAT law to irritate people,’ he said.  

He said that the objective of the automation project was to lower tariff and widen the collection net but some of the clauses included in the VAT law this year aimed to protect the interests of only 1 per cent of the big businesses in the country and to harass the remaining 99 per cent.

‘Despite their failure in implementing the VAT online project, these people are eyeing other new projects. We all know why they are interested in new projects,’ Fahim said.

He termed the proposed national budget human, social and economic recovery oriented.

The FBCCI demanded that the provision for advance tax should be gradually abolished by the next three years, customs tariff should be reduced and the integrated automated revenue system should be implemented with a widened tax net.

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