Tax to be realized without hurting taxpayers: Finance Minister

Bangladesh Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal. File photo

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal today reiterated that tax would be realized and the exiting tax net would be further widened but it will not hurt the taxpayers.

“My policy is to collect tax by not hurting the taxpayers or increasing the tax burden. We’ll reach out to those who are not paying taxes and thus collect tax,” he said.

The Finance Minister was addressing a meeting and Iftar mahfil organized in honour of the members of the Economic Reporters’ Forum (ERF) held at the NEC Conference Room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.

PM’s Private Industry and Investment Affairs’ Adviser Salman F Rahman was also present.

ERF President Saif Islam Dilal and General Secretary SM Rashidul Islam spoke, among others.

Kamal noted that the tax-GDP ratio is still low in Bangladesh with around 10 per cent compared to other neighboring countries which is 18-19 per cent, Kamal said that the country could increase its tax-GDP ratio much more if it could raise its revenue generation to a great extent.

He said it’s unfortunate for the country that those who are paying taxes over the years continue to do so, while many people who have the capacity are not doing the same.

The philosophical perspective of the government this time is not to burden over the existing taxpayers, rather to widen the tax net.

Reiterating that the new VAT law would come into effect from 1st of July, Kamal said 10,000 people would be added to the NBR through outsourcing to enforce the implementation of the VAT law to realize more VAT.

He said that the VAT law has been framed in a transparent and easy way.

The Finance Minister opined that the tax collection would increase to a great extent if the distortions and corruption were curbed.

He informed that steps have been taken to scan all the inbound and outbound consignments to evade tax. Besides, only 10 per cent of the consignments would be examined physically, he added.

The Finance Minister also urged the media to motivate common people to pay tax out of patriotism and moral obligation.