Strengthen Central Bank - stop capital flight: CSOs

Strengthen Central Bank – stop capital flight: CSOs

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Dhaka, June 13 – Speakers at a human chain on Wednesday in Dhaka urged the government to emphasise Income Tax instead VAT (Value Added Tax) for revenue mobilisation in implementing the 2018-19 national budget. They also raised voice on the inefficiency of the banking sector and demanded to strengthen the Central Bank to stop loopholes in capital flight and ensure proper governance in financial Sector.
Twenty rights-based civil society networking organizations coordinated by Equity BD organised the human chain in front of the National Press Club in the city on Wednesday.
Md. Ahsanul Karim of Equity BD read out key demands in the programme moderated by Mostafa Kamal Akand-Networking Coordinator of the same organization.
Among others, Badrul Alam from Bangladesh agriculture federation, Javed Iqbal Khan, Syed Aminul Hoque from COAST Trust and Rezaul Karim Chowdhury from Equity BD spoke in the event.
Md. Ahsanul Karim demanded increase of corporate tax as a direct tax rather than VAT as an indirect tax and also to increase the minimum tax-free income from 2,50,000 to 3,50,000.
He recommended establishing central bank’s stronger control over the banks and forming a strong bank commission to save people’s money.
Demanding the publication of a white paper on Bangladeshi’s in Malaysia 2nd Home Program he also demanded report on stock exchange debacle, plundering of money from public banks, and the Bangladesh Bank money heist.
Syed Aminul Hoque said that revised VAT slab will increase VAT rate and increase the burden on the poor because they enjoy these lower slabs of the VAT. The government failed to collect income tax from trade and big economic activities, that’s why riding on the poor for revenue which is an injustice, he added.
M Rezaul Karim Chowdhury said that Finance minister did not keep his commitment in respect of establishing a neutral and a strong bank commission and this failure will assist the bank owners to plunder more public money from banks.
He also said that due to reducing bank corporate tax of 2.5%, Govt. will lose about Tk.100 crore as extra revenue which will indeed make the bank owners richer.
Md. Badrul Alam said that Government has reimbursed more than 10,000crore of as capital refilling from 2006 to 2017 to the state running banks who are suffering from capital deficits because of corruption mostly done by the different companies (Hallmarks, Bismillah Group, Crescent Leather, etc) and supported by politically appointed directors of those banks. The supported money most collecting from hard-earned people as the tax, he said.
Kader Hajari of Arpan said that the Government is heavily relying on VAT collection which has a 33.7% excess target over FY 2017-18.
He also mentioned that Government has an emphasis to collect income tax from individuals rather than corporate bodies. Income tax target is about 58.4% excess of last year’s target whereas the corporate tax target is 15.9% higher than the FY 2017-18. The government has not enhanced tax-free income level and it will create an extra burden for middle income earn people and the poor, he added. – GW News Desk

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