NBR’s back against the wall, says chairman
The revenue authority desperately needs to accelerate tax collection in order to enable the country to widen its capacity to spend more from its own coffer and cut reliance on external funds, said its chief today.
"We have our back against the wall," said Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem, chairman of the National Board of Revenue (NBR), candidly.
He made the comments after the Bangladesh Cement Manufacturers Association (BCMA), the Bangladesh Steel Manufacturers Association, and the Bangladesh Auto Brick Manufacturers Association placed a number of proposals for tax benefits at a pre-budget meeting at the NBR's head office in the capital's Agargaon.
The NBR organised the meeting to hear the views and concerns of businesses and stakeholders as part of its preparation to frame tax proposals for the fiscal year of 2023-24, which begins in July.
Muneem said business people approached the NBR when they fall in trouble and have their backs against the wall. "It is unfortunate when they come to the NBR to overcome the problems."
The NBR is also in the same position, he said.
The NBR is given a target to raise revenues so that the government can implement development projects and meet the expenses of the country.
"You know about the jump in revenue targets. A lot of development activities are underway in the country. You need to keep this in mind," Muneem said.
Bangladesh has one of the lowest tax-to-GDP ratios in the world.
The NBR clocked 11 per cent year-on-year growth in tax receipts, which amounted to Tk 145,431 crore in the July-December period of 2022-23.