I fully support Dr. Abdus Sattar Syed's opinion on this issue (Letters to the Editor page, June 19, The Daily Star) that the advance income tax of Tk.1000 proposed on every fresh issuance or renewal of a trade licence should be withdrawn. I would like to go even further to propose that the requirement of trade licence be waived for very small starting enterprises (a suggested limit: fixed investment under Tk.1.5 lakh). Unfortunately, we inherited a legacy of a top-down authoritarian rule of the colonial past which has not changed a little even after adoption of democracy. Field officials of the government have the authority to harass the general public if their corrupt demands are not met.
Our policymakers sitting in the capital would never understand what harassment a new entrepreneur has to undergo just to get a trade licence unless s/he is prepared to pay the demanded bribe money. This harassment that an entrepreneur faces at the very beginning of an enterprise puts him or her off. Since we need large scale proliferation of small enterprises for poverty alleviation through mass employment, such a situation is not at all desirable.
Therefore, the above conditional waiver of trade licence should be given a serious thought.