Dhaka: The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) on Thursday proposed slashing corporate tax by 2.50 percent and increasing the individual tax-free income limit to Taka 3.50 lakh from the existing Tk 2.50 lakh.
In the budget proposals for fiscal year (2018-19), the apex trade body also proposed increasing limit of zero percent surcharge to Tk 3 crore from the existing Tk 2.25 crore.
The FBCCI placed the proposals at the 39th Advisory Meeting of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) at Sonargaon Hotel in the city. NBR and FBCCI jointly organised the meeting.
Speaking as chief guest at the meeting, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said, since the next budget will be an election year budget, there will be no new venture in it, rather emphasis would be given on carrying forward the exiting initiatives.
Muhith in his closing remarks at the NBR-FBCCI consultative meeting talked on quite a number of issues, including agro-processing industries, readymade garments (RMG), cottage industries, revenue mobilization, the number of taxpayers, poultry industries, BTCL, the state of highways, bread and biscuit factories and the problem of higher duty on import of stones.
The finance minister said the argo-processing industry is doing well in the country and it would further move forward. "Agro-processing industry should be considered one of the most important sectors," he added.
Bangladesh is quite a master in making value addition to any half-done materials, he said, adding that the country's RMG sector is currently the second in the world, but the bulk of its raw materials is not produced in the country, rather those are being import from abroad.
Muhith said over the years, the NBR has been able to come much closer to the common people and around 30 lakh people now submit their tax returns which was only 7 lakh in 1982.
Responding to various demands raised by the business community, the finance minister assured them of including IT enabled services into e-commerce, considering the matter of providing incentives on the value of direct exports, addressing the server capacity problem of the BTCL, adjusting the duty on production and import of agriculture machineries, addressing the problem of higher duty on import of stones and the duty on bread and biscuit factories.
Mentioning that the plying of heavy vehicles and large containers over the national, regional and district highways is responsible for deteriorating the road condition across the country, the veteran minister said the government is giving due importance and taking measures so that the quality of these roads and highways remain in a good condition.
NBR Chairman M Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, Finance Division Secretary Mohammad Muslim Chowdhury, Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) Executive Chairman Kazi M Aminul Islam and former FBCCI Presidents Mir Nasir Hossain, Kazi Akramuddin Ahmed and AK Azad spoke on the occasion, among others. FBCCI President M Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin delivered the address of welcome.