NBR chief promises to end business barriers
National Board of Revenue (NBR) Chairman Mohammad Abdul Mazid said yesterday the government took steps to update age-old rules on customs, VAT and other taxes to remove barriers to business.
“The rules should be redesigned to open avenues for business expansion but not to confine them,” Mazid said at a meeting with local businessmen at Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industries (CCCI).
The NBR chief emphasised changing the mindsets of tax officials in an effort to create a congenial environment for businesses.
CCCI organised the meeting, chaired by its newly elected President and Awami League lawmaker MA Latif.
At the meeting, business leaders made a series of allegations, including harassment by taxmen.
Wilful behaviour, non-corporation and corruption of some customs officials and their indifference to the businessmen threaten to hurt the private sector, Latif said.
Although the prices of commodities and raw materials have marked a sharp fall on the international market, custom officials are imposing duties based on the previous market situation, he said.
"In the changed context, customs officials must shed their colonial mentality and serve the country," Latif said.
Assuring the business leaders of taking steps to bring in changes, the NBR chairman said a team of senior NBR officials would visit every branch office to monitor the activities of tax officials.
Mazid hopes the next budget will be business-friendly, as the government is set to make the budget in consultation with businesspeople.
“We would sit with all the chambers across the country and meet stakeholders from February to listen to their problems and suggestions related to the business ahead of the budget,” he added.
CCCI Director Abu Tyeb urged the NBR chief to reduce air travel tax to help migrant workers.