EC wants to know 14 MPs' tax status | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, October 26, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, October 26, 2009

EC wants to know 14 MPs' tax status

To ask NBR to see if they have taxable income as they didn't submit tax records

The Election Commission will ask the National Board of Revenue to see if the 14 lawmakers who did not include tax records in their candidacy applications had earnings subject to tax.
The decision came yesterday at a meeting where the EC Secretariat placed a list of lawmakers who in documents submitted to the commission before the December 29 election claimed they did not have any taxable income, EC sources said.
"In a couple of days, the list will be sent to NBR for taking necessary measures," said a senior EC official declining to be identified talking about the matter.
Of the 14 MPs, 12 belong to ruling Awami League and one each to BNP and Jatiya Party.
The AL lawmakers in question are Zakir Hossain of Kurigram-4, Ziaur Rahman of Chapainawabganj-2, Miraz Uddin Mollah of Rajshahi-3, Afaz Uddin Ahmed of Kustia-1, Sultana Arun of Kushtia-2, Shafiqul Azam Khan of Jhenhidah-3, Sheikh Abdul Wahab of Jessore-6, Mir Shawkat Ali Badsha of Bagerhat-2, Ishak Hossain Talukder of Sirajganj-3, Shawkat Momen Shajahan of Tangail-8, Khandaker Abdul Baten of Tangail-6 and Rebeka Momin of Netrakona-4.
Golam Mostafa of Joypurhat-2 is the BNP lawmaker and Ziaul Haque Mridha of Brahmanbaria-2 is the Jatiya Party MP on the list.
According to the law, an individual having annual income over Tk 1.65 lakh must pay taxes. But the news earlier published in newspapers that these lawmakers did not pay tax triggered widespread criticism as they spent huge amount of money to win in the elections.
The electoral law allowed a candidate to spend highest Tk 15 lakh as his election expenditure but according to a report of Transparency International Bangladesh, a large number of candidates spent more than that.
Initially, the EC Secretariat found anomalies in the tax records of 42 lawmakers. Of them, 17 were found to have not submitted copies of their income tax return along with the applications seeking candidacy in the December 29 polls.
According to article 44AA of the Representation of the People Order (RPO), it is mandatory for a parliamentary polls candidate to submit statements of probable sources of funds for election expenses and also of assets and liabilities, annual income and expenditure, and copies of tax returns if he or she is an income tax payee.
On receiving information on the 42 lawmakers, the commission secretariat thoroughly scrutinised the documents submitted by those lawmakers along with their applications seeking candidacy in the December 29 parliamentary elections.
It also instructed the deputy commissioners, who were Returning Officers (ROs) during the last polls, to properly scrutinise the documents submitted along with the applications.
The deputy commissioners checked all the documents, which are preserved at their offices, and informed the EC Secretariat that the 17 lawmakers submitted their copies of income tax returns along with their applications seeking candidacy, EC officials said.
But the ROs at that time did not send soft copies of all documents of the 17 lawmakers to the EC despite repeated instructions by the commission.
On receiving the soft copies from the ROs, the EC posted all documents of all candidates on its website before the last parliamentary election. Copies of the income tax returns of the 17 lawmakers were not posted on the website.
Thus information extracted from the soft copies earlier showed that 17 lawmakers did not submit their copies of income tax return along with their applications.

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