The tenure of VAT online project has been extended by two years to December 2020 in line with the deferment of the new VAT law.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) yesterday approved the project's second revision where its expenditure has also been increased by 25.11 percent to Tk 690 crore.
The project was approved by Ecnec in 2013 for the implementation of the new VAT law.
After yesterday's meeting, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said the system for paying VAT online could not be introduced yet due to the postponement of the law.
The system will be introduced through the project, he said. The law was scheduled to come into effect from the current fiscal year. One of its main provisions was that it would introduce a uniform rate of VAT replacing multiple ones.
Its implementation was deferred by two years in the face of opposition from the business community.
Muhith earlier this month said the new VAT law might be implemented in FY2020-21.
He also said it may have two rates instead of one of 15 percent.
Muhith said a proposal would be prepared on the new VAT rate before this fiscal year's budget and will be left for the next government to implement.
A finance ministry official said the NBR would soon appoint a consultant who would discuss with stakeholders and prepare a new proposal on the revision of the VAT law.
The planning ministry proposal says a VAT app and software would be developed under the project.
Moreover new IT infrastructure will be procured for introducing the new VAT system while field level offices will be refurbished and necessary equipment collected.
The original project proposal said Tk 101 crore was to come from government funds while Tk 450 crore from the World Bank. The revision increased the government fund contribution to Tk 240 crore.
Yesterday 14 new and revised projects involving Tk 6,228 crore were approved at the Ecnec meeting.
One is on renovating polders at Ukhia and Teknaf along the Naf river on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border by June 2020 for Tk 144 crore.
Its main aims are to raise embankments by improving flood control and irrigation system in some areas and prevent illegal infiltration from Myanmar.
Another Tk 1,521 crore project is for upgrading the power distribution system of 13 upazilas in Comilla.
A project of Tk 1,152 crore will improve Noakhali's rural infrastructure.