35pc aspirants pay no tax or lack TIN
A total of 865, or 35.22 percent, of the people who filed nomination papers for the upcoming parliamentary polls neither pay income tax nor have any Tax Identification Number (TIN).
The total number of people who filed nomination papers for this year's general election number 2,456.
A high official of National Board of Revenue (NBR) said, "It is unbelievable that those who spend lakhs of taka for election do not have the minimum taxable annual income of Tk 1.65 lakh."
Ahmed Ali, a member of the NBR, told The Daily Star, "We are examining these again. If anybody does not submit income tax return despite having taxable income, legal action will be taken against them."
Of the 865 without TIN, 236 are in Dhaka, 187 in Chittagong, 122 in Khulna, 100 in Rangpur, 98 in Rajshahi, 63 in Barisal and 59 in Sylhet.
The number of Awami League and BNP candidates among the 865 is small. Most of them belong to small political parties or are independent candidates.
However, the NBR official said from a moral viewpoint it is not acceptable that an aspirant lawmaker shall not submit income tax return.
According to the present Election Commission rules having TIN for a lawmaker is not mandatory. The Election Commission should make a law in future to the effect that a person standing in the election must have TIN, the NBR high official said.