22 Mar 2023, 18:44
Update : 22 Mar 2023, 19:28

Business leaders urge for simplification of overall taxation system

DHAKA, March 22, 2023 (BSS) - Business leaders at a pre-budget discussion 
meeting here today urged the government for simplification of taxation system 
and continuing tax reforms to facilitate the private sector to grow further 
in order to compete in the international market.

They said Bangladesh's economy is quite stable now, but there is no scope of 
being reluctant due to the global geo-economic challenges.

The discussion was organised by the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry 
(DCCI) in association with Daily Samakal and Channel 24 at the Bangabandhu 
International Conference Center (BICC).

Private Sector Industry and Investment Adviser to the Prime Minister Salman F 
Rahman, MP, spoke as the chief guest while State Minister for Planning Dr. 
Shamsul Alam and former FBCCI President Md. Shafiul Islam (Mohiuddin), MP, 
spoke as special guests. 

FBCCI president Md. Jashim Uddin and former FBCCI President AK Azad spoke as 
guests of honour. Editor of Daily Samakal Mozammel Hossain gave the vote of 

Former FBCCI President Shafiul Islam said that the NBR should have to hear 
more from the business community to address their problems.

In tariff related issues, he said Bangladesh Tariff Commission should play 
their due role while the NBR should execute the policies and only then better 
outcomes would come.

AK Azad said the price hike of power, energy and gas has put the industries 
and industrial production under pressure. He said if energy prices come down 
in the international market, then the prices in Bangladesh should also be 

Noting that the country's gas reserve would last for only five years, he said 
for this there is a need to think now for the future energy security. Azad 
also emphasized on development of backward linkage industry and man-made 
fiber, use of technology and innovation. Moreover, he urged to reduce tax on 
import of solar power machineries.

Former NBR Chairman and Chairman of the Capital Market Stabilization Fund Md 
Nojibur Rahman noted that the country's capital market is yet to flourish 
fully compared to that of India, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. "We need 
to take growth stimulating operations," he said.

 DCCI President Barrister Md. Sameer Sattar moderated the live telecast 
programme and said only 3 million people submit their tax returns every year, 
but the number should be expanded to at least 10 to 20 million. 

He requested to reduce at least 2.5 percent corporate tax for the non-listed 
companies and enhancing the tax free income limit for the individual 
taxpayers to Taka 5 lakh from the existing Taka 3 lakh considering the 
current inflation and cost of living. 

Later, he recommended reducing source tax on interest of companies to 10 
percent from 20 percent. Regarding financial sector, he suggested for a long-
term roadmap to reduce the Non Performing Loans (NPLs). Till 2041, Bangladesh 
will need an investment of about US$609 billion for infrastructure sector.
Sameer therefore urged for a financial source mapping for this investment. In 
order to enhance the country's export competitiveness, he suggested going for 
export diversification and exploring new potential sectors.

The discussion was divided into four sessions: taxation and VAT, Financial 
Sector, Industry and Trade and Infrastructure. 

Former ICAB President Md Humayun Kabir suggested for raising the tax to GDP 
ratio of the country by at least two percent although it would be tough.

Former NBR member Md Alamgir Hossain recommended for widening further the tax 
net since only 30 lakh people submit their returns every year out of the 
around 17 crore people. He also suggested for expanding the tax net outside 
of Dhaka and Chattogram as the bulk of the revenues are being generated from 
these two cities.

Former BSEC Commissioner Arif Khan recommended for giving tax exemptions on 
private equity and venture capital as well as suggested for considering bond, 
Sukuk fund and mutual fund as the sources for long-term financing in the 
capital market.

Executive director of SANEM Dr Salim Raihan said that the reforms initiatives 
in the taxation system should be reflected in the next budget side by side 
the reforms initiatives would be very important for Bangladesh over the next 
three years for having a smooth graduation from the LDCs.

Chairman of Pran-RFL Group Ahsan Khan Chowdhury stressed on the need for 
raising exports especially of light engineering items, furniture, 
electronics, ensuring export diversification, extending the bond facilities 
in the North Bengal, simplifying and rationalizing the government procedures.

BTMA President Mohammad Ali Khokon recommended for withdrawing tariff and 
non-tariff issues on man-made fibre and recycled products in the next budget.

Director of BGMEA Asif Ashraf stressed on taking all-out efforts for availing 
post LDC grace period for six years alongside signing more PTAs and FTAs.

Mainuddin Monem, managing director of Abdul Monem Ltd, urged for making the 
road connectivity very seamless with the sea ports to have much better 

Hossain Khaled, managing director of Anwar Group, said that although the 
country needs FDI, but the demands of the local investors should not be 

Masrur Arefeen, managing director of The City Bank Ltd, said that good 
governance should have to be ensured in those banks which are facing image 

Speakers of these sessions also stressed on internal resource mobilization, 
digitization or automation of taxation system, bond market development for 
long-term financing, sustainable capital market development, safeguarding 
SMEs, improving backward linkage industry, controlling inflation, ensuring 
food security, reduction of corporate tax, bond facility for all export-
oriented industries and product and market diversification.