NBR extends facility to foreigners working at expressway
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has extended its income tax exemption facility to foreigners working at the elevated expressway being constructed under a public-private partnership.
As such, foreigners engaged in building the 19.73-kilometre-long expressway stretching from the Shahjalal International Airport to Kutubkhali on the Dhaka-Chattogram highway will not have to pay tax on their income until June 30, 2023, according to a notification from the NBR.
The exemption will be effective from August 14, 2021, the country's tax authority said.
This is yet another extension by the NBR to facilitate the construction of the expressway, which is expected to help people cross Dhaka without having to face inner-city traffic congestion.
Foreigners, including engineers and managers, have been enjoying a tax exemption facility on their income made in Bangladesh since 2012, said a senior official of the NBR.
Around 100 foreigners are working on the elevated expressway, he added.
The government took up the project in 2011 to cut down traffic congestion in Dhaka. The Bangladesh Bridge Authority signed a deal with Italian-Thai Development Public Company to build the expressway at a cost of Tk 8,703 crore.
The deal was revised in December 2013, when the cost of construction grew to Tk 13,825 crore. The government will give Tk 2,413 crore as viability gap funding while the private partner will bear the rest.
Besides, the government is to spend Tk 4,885 crore on land acquisition, resettlement and relocation of utility service lines to construct the expressway, which has been inaugurated twice.
It was first inaugurated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in April 2011 for completion by mid-2014 and once again by Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader in August 2015.
AHMS Akhtar, project director of the Dhaka Elevated Expressway, said the construction of the expressway's infrastructure is scheduled to be complete in June 2023.
After extending the deadline several times, the authorities in September last year said that they will open a portion of the expressway to the public in December this year.
"I hope that we will be able to open [the expressway] up to Tejgaon Rail Station [from Kawla near airport] next year," Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader told reporters on September 5 last year.