Policymakers yesterday called for strengthening security of online VAT payment, soon to be launched in a bid to boost collections of indirect tax through digital channels.
The call came ahead of the National Board of Revenue's planned launch of the online VAT payment system in July, as part of a scheme to implement the new VAT and Supplementary Duty Act 2012.
"We have to ensure cyber security, with proper short, medium and long-term plans to strengthen the security of our digital platform," said Banking Division Secretary Md Eunusur Rahman.
He spoke at a meeting on the progress in the implementation of online VAT system in Dhaka. Finance Minister AMA Muhith also attended the meeting.
There are foreigners involved in most of the digital initiatives, but the dependence on their services needs to be reduced, Rahman said.
“We need to plan for all digital platforms to be under our own control,” he said. "Digitisation is a must, but we have to ensure security as well.”
His remarks came after the recent hacking of $101 million from Bangladesh Bank's account with the New York Federal Reserve Bank.
Senior Secretary of Finance Division Mahbub Ahmed stressed the need for a secure online VAT system. "We have to be more active to ensure cyber security.”
Finance Minister Muhith asked the revenue authority to create more awareness among taxpayers ahead of enforcing the new VAT law online, said NBR Chairman Md Nojibur Rahman.
Muhith also stressed the need for businesses to maintain accounts properly and train officials and other stakeholders.
The issues of integration and harmonisation of online VAT administration with payment systems of Bangladesh Bank, Office of the Controller General of Accounts and other government organs were also discussed in the meeting.