The Foreign Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday urged the National Board of Revenue to be more liberal in its policy measures, including taxation, considering the tax rates of Bangladesh’s rival countries to attract foreign direct investment.
At a pre-budget discussion with the revenue board, FICCI also blamed the NBR for not keeping its promise while framing the new value-added tax law as it brought fundamental changes to the implemented law compared with the initial plan.
At a separate pre-budget discussion held at the NBR headquarters in Dhaka, the Bangladesh Reconditioned Vehicles Importers and Dealers Association demanded withdrawal of supplementary duty on import of electric cars and microbuses, reduction of SD duty on import of used cars and rearrangement of engine capacity (CC) slabs for imposition of the duty.
FICCI president Rupali Chowdhury said that the NBR should gradually reduce the corporate income tax to 25 per cent from the current 32.5 per cent and main consistency in the fiscal policies to attract both domestic and foreign investment.
She also recommended the revenue board to reconsider certain fiscal measures, including the tax rate on promotional expenses of companies and the minimum tax imposed on companies irrespective of profit or loss, which had annoyed foreign investors.
She also said that the new VAT and Supplementary Duty Act-2012 that came into effect in July 2019 required a major reshuffle so that businesses could avail the expected benefits from the law.
She said that the NBR had reinstated the controversial price declaration system through introducing the input-output coefficient.
FICCI also said that manufacturing cost was higher in Bangladesh compared with India and China, making business in the country less competitive.
The government should consider the issues to attract FDI, it said.
Standard Chartered Bank, Bangladesh chief executive officer Naser Ezaz Bijoy recommended the NBR to impose tax on cash deposit by setting a threshold.
The tax rate may be a nominal one but it will discourage cash deposits in banks, he said.
He also recommended rationalisation of property registration tax in line with the mouza rates.
Standard Chartered Bank managing director and chief financial officer Md Abdul Kader Joaddar, Unilever Bangladesh head of taxation Sayeed Ahmed Khan, among others, spoke at the meeting presided over by NBR chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem.
BARVIDA also demanded reduction of customs duty to 1 per cent on import of buses, pick-ups, dump trucks and fire fighting vehicles in the upcoming national budget for the fiscal year 2021-2022.
While placing the budget recommendations, BARVIDA president Abdul Haque said that there was 20 per cent SD on import of hybrid cars.
The duty should be withdrawn to encourage the use of environmentfriendly vehicles to reduce the use of fossil fuels, he said.
He also said that there should be no SD on microbus import as the vehicle was used to transport employees, students and tourists.
The government first imposed 30-per cent SD on the import of microbus in FY2015.
Haque also requested the revenue board to consider the proposal of reducing the customs duty on import of reconditioned buses to 1 per cent from 10 per cent which would help to develop the public transport system in the country.
BARVIDA also demanded to rearrange the ages of depreciation, CC slabs of reconditioned cars and SD structure.
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