The Board of Directors of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) led by its President Abul Kasem Khan called on Finance Minister of Bangladesh Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, MP at Ministry of Finance on May 21, 2017.
DCCI President Abul Kasem Khan said private investment needs to be scaled-up to 29% from the current level of 22%. In order to boost private investment Bangladesh needs to improve its position in business competitiveness. In order to improve the ranking of Bangladesh with the view to attract private investment and facilitate industrialization, we need to improve our infrastructure, energy situation, efficiency in the institutional framework and human resources. For infrastructure developmentBangladesh spends 2.8% of its GDP on the other hand Vietnam is spending 10%, China 9%, India 5%, Sri Lanka 5% and Philippines 5% of their GDP.
DCCI President proposes Tk. 3,50,000 as individual tax free income limit from the next budget. For publicly traded company he proposes 25% corporate tax instead of 30%. He also urged to re-introduce the tax-free facility on the profit component retained by the companies for re-investment.
He proposes to keep the VAT rate at a certain level so that the rate does not fuel any price escalation. NBR has given assurance that the introduction will not cause any price increase of common products. All necessary efforts can be brought under consideration so that this assurance by NBR is maintained, he said.
Distribution of ECR machines across the country will not be feasible rather VAT collection could be brought under a new payment E-ecosystem whereby all VAT collectors can use mobile network gateway. He also proposes for VAT free annual turnover up to Tk. 80 lakh and 3% turnover tax on annual turnover from Tk. 50 lakh to Tk. 1.2 crore.
He said investment in infrastructure development requires 5% of GDP and by the year 2030 Bangladesh will need $320 billion investment only in infrastructure.
Abul Kasem Khan urged for finalizing coal policy, more budgetary allocation on power and energy, railway. He said public and privately owned Economic Zone development with all utility services needs to be expedited. He sought more allocation in the ADP for power and energy so that we could produce 75% of our electricity using our own coal.
He urged for 50% cut down the rate of import registration license, trade license fee, export registration fee and indenting license fee to ease cost of doing business.
The DCCI President proposes 5% fiscal incentive and duty-free machinery import in Electronic and Electrical Assembly domain, 5% rebate on the electricity bill on export oriented industry.
Focusing on infrastructure development he proposed to establish “National Infrastructure Development Monitoring Advisory Authority (NIDMAA)” under PPP modality.
Senior Vice President of DCCI Kamrul Islam, FCA said government may consider private sector firm to collect income tax as an outsourcing model.
DCCI Director Humayun Rashid shared his experience that he imported some capital machineries and it took 66 days to release those consignmentsfrom Mongla port due to lengthy procedures.
DCCI Director Salim Akhter Khan said due to high corporate tax rate entrepreneurs feel discouraged to re-invest their profit into the same business or in its expansion. He requested the Finance Minister to reduce the corporate tax rate.
In reply to DCCI Director Humayun Rashid, Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, MP said government will consider reducing procedures regarding release of capital machineries from the ports. He also said that government will bring down the cost of sending remittance in order to increase its volume. He also said that the number of our tax payers is now 1.6 million and 2.8 million people have their TIN registration as of today. Commenting on higher lending rate the Finance Minister said government may think about to reduce savings certificate rate but not less than the market rate. He appreciated the idea of establishing ‘National Infrastructure Development & Monitoring Advisory Authority (NIDMAA) proposed by DCCI President Abul Kasem Khan and said that government will consider his proposal for speedy implementation of large infrastructure projects.
DCCI Vice President Hossain A Sikder, Riyadh Hossain, Imran Ahmed, Atique-e-Rabbani, FCA, KMN Manjurul Hoque, Kh. Rashedul Ahsan and Secretary General AHM Rezaul Kabir were present among others.