Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has expressed his optimism that Bangladesh will become the 25th largest economy in the world by 2035.
He also called upon all, including the valued taxpayers, to contribute to the nation-building process from their respective positions and thus turn the country into "Sonar Bangla" as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
“We're now celebrating the Golden Jubilee of country's independence and the birth centenary of Father of the Nation. Let us pledge to contribute from whatever we have to nation-building and thus turn the country into 'Sonar Bangla'. It's my firm belief that you'll be able to do it," he said.
The finance minister came up with the statement while addressing the tax card, crest and certificate giving function 2021 at the Officer's Club in Dhaka on Wednesday, reports BSS.
Presided over by the National Board of Revenue (NBR) Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem, the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) President Md Jashim Uddin spoke on the occasion as the special guest.
During the function, the NBR handed over tax cards, crests and certificates to some 141 top taxpayers, including 75 individuals, for the payment of the highest amount of taxes to the state coffer for the year 2020-21.
Besides, the highest taxpayers of Dhaka City Corporation and the eight districts of Dhaka Division also received tax cards, crests and certificates.
The finance minister said the main driving force of the unprecedented attainments of the government over the last era was the common people of the country adding, "I express my gratitude to them."
Highlighting the salient features of the country's economy, Kamal said Bangladesh has been attaining 7.4 per cent GDP growth on average over the last decade before the pandemic while the per capita income of Bangladesh is now almost the same as India and China.
"We're now atop of other countries in almost all economic indicators and we've to maintain such continuity," he added.
The finance minister mentioned that the direct tax has almost increased by 12 times to now reach Taka 850.00 billion, which was only Taka 70.00 billion in FY06. On the other hand, he said the revenue generation has now reached Taka 2.59 trillion which was only Taka 340.00 billion in FY06.
"This is a stunning achievement and it has been possible only because of you (taxpayers).......I express my gratitude to you and I believe that you'll move ahead the country imbued with patriotism," he added.
NBR Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem said that the government unleashes various socio-economic developments with the taxpayers' money.
He said there would be more revenue generation if more eligible taxpayers pay taxes.
FBCCI President Md Jashim Uddin said that such kind of recognition by the NBR would encourage more taxpayers in paying taxes.
He, however, sought the kind attention of the Finance Minister so that the tax cardholders and the CIPs get due facilities and privileges from the government on time.
The chief of the country's apex trade body also demanded of the government to withdraw the Advance Income tax, making a transparent and accountable tax administration, reducing hassles at the field-level tax offices, and thus bringing the new taxpayers under the tax net through motivating them.
Among the recipients, Kaus Mia, a businessman from Old Dhaka and a nonagenarian well-known for Hakimpuri Zarda, atop the 60 lakh registered taxpayers in the country.
He has been paying tax since 1958, and the NBR has crowned him with 15 awards over the years, including the recognition as the best taxpayer in the Mujib Borsho. His family was recognised as Kar Bahadur Paribar, or Tax Icon family, in 2016-17.
Minister for Textile and Jute Golam Dastagir Gazi, Founder of Transcom Group late Latifur Rahman, and Chairman of Exim Bank Md Nazrul Islam Mazumder are among the top taxpayers who have retained their positions.