Dhaka-Speakers at a human chain programme on Wednesday demanded to publish a white paper on illicit finance flow as well as government’s action strategies to recovery from different Tax Heavens countries like Malaysia, Switzerland Canada.They also demanded to ensure Tax Transparency of MNCs (Multinational Companies) in Bangladesh.
As a part of Global Week of Action for Tax Justice, more than 20 rights based civil society organizations including farmers and labor organizations led by EquityBD formed the human chain in front of the national press club in the city, according to a press release.
Moderated by Mosafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD, the human chain programme was also addressed, among others, by Md. Ahsanul Karim of Equitybd, Subol Sarkar of Bhumihin Somity, Prodip Kumar Roy of Online Knowledge Society, M Hafizul Islam of PSI (Public Service International), Aminur Rasul Babul of Unnayan Dhara Trust and Syed Aminul Hoque from EquityBD.
In his speech, Md. Ahsanul Karim said in every year an amount of BDT 200 billion through hundi, BDT 100-160 billion through miss invoicing and about BDT 500 billion through money laundering to other countries. Thus the government has been losing huge amount of revenue in every year, he added.
M Hafizul Islam said a total of US$18.41 billion had been siphoned off Bangladesh in last 10 years since 2003 through trade miss-invoicing, corruption, bribery and tax evasion by a report of Washington-based Global Financial Integrity (GFI).
Aminul Hoque said that, poor people are crippled due to paying of higher rate VAT, debt burden and debt servicing liabilities during last year’s. Govt. needs to realize this through taking appropriate action and strategies for stopping illicit finance flow to ease the people livelihood along with pro poor resource mobilization technique, he added.
Subal Sarkar stated that a total tax of more than $402 million have been evaded by the four major mobile phone multinational companies– Grameen Phone (Telenor), Banglalink (Orascom), Robi (Singtel) and Airtel (India) in Bangladesh through SIM card replacement.
He alleged that other Multi National Company like British American Tobacco Company has also been accused for tax evasion of around $250 million through false declaration of raw material import.
Aminur Rasul Babul mentioned that for Bangladesh, it is not impossible to get the information on money laundering, after an agreement signed on July-2013 with the International Agency “Augment Group” to protect money laundering and terrorist financing where other 147 countries are included.
For that, Bangladesh will have to sign with Switzerland for information exchange regarding tax or money laundering, he added.