Muhith hints at reducing excise duty on bank deposit

Finance Minister AMA Muhith
Finance Minister AMA Muhith. Star file photo

Finance Minister AMA Muhith today hinted that the government may withdraw the proposed additional excise duty on bank deposit in the fiscal 2017-18.

Amid widespread criticism and repeated demand for withdrawal of the excise duty, the minister came up with the hint while talking to reporters at the cabinet division office this afternoon.

Muhith, while placing budget for fiscal 2017-18 on June 1, proposed raising the excise duty from Tk 500 to Tk 800 on accounts where the balance -- whether debit or credit -- exceeds Tk 1 lakh but stays less than Tk 10 lakh at any point of time during a year.

“When you started shouting it seemed it [excise duty] is something new. It’s nothing new,” he said adding that if there is any change in the proposed excise duty, it will be the additional rate.

MA Mannan, state minister for finance and planning, on Tuesday also hinted in the Parliament that the finance ministry may reconsider its proposal to hike the excise duty.

Muhith drew huge criticism from different quarters for imposing the excise duty on bank deposits and 15 percent uniform VAT in the proposed budget for fiscal 2017-’18.  Both treasury and opposition bench members also criticised his proposal in the parliament.