The country's apex trade promoter FBCCI has sought fresh stimulus for small businesses as, it believes, they are worst-affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The government earlier announced a package for the CMSMEs amounting to Tk 200 billion, but over 72 per cent of the package has so far been disbursed.
The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) said this at a post-budget press briefing held at its Motijheel office on Saturday.
"I urge the government to announce another package for micro-cottage and SMEs as they have been hit hard by the pandemic," said FBCCI president Md Jashim Uddin.
The trade advocacy group also urged the government to withdraw advance income tax or AIT as it makes doing business expensive.
Mr Uddin said such type of taxation is refundable or adjustable at the end of a year but it makes the doing business expensive initially.
"We don't know whether we will make any profit from the business. But such system forces us to pay in advance."
The FBCCI chief said the government imposed advance tax up to 20 per cent in the budget, adding that business activities would thus suffer serious setbacks.
"We think there will be a stalemate-like situation in trade and commerce following higher AIT," he added.
Similarly, another advance tax is applied to value-added tax at import stage.
The FBCCI said the government has reduced it by 1.0 percentage point from existing 4.0-per cent advance tax on VAT applied to imports.
"We think such advance tax system should be withdrawn completely as it also makes doing business expensive."
The FBCCI said educational institutions have been the biggest casualty as they remained closed since the beginning of the pandemic. But they have to pay 15-per cent income tax.
"We're also in favour of withdrawing tax on educational institutions considering losses during this pandemic."
The association said the government might widen the tax net by setting up tax offices at upazila level.
Mr Uddin said the government has made a move to amend the VAT Act in order to make it more business-friendly.
"We urge the government to form a task force on the matter with representatives from finance ministry, National Board of Revenue and FBCCI."
The FBCCI is in favour of whitening undisclosed money in the productive sector.
"We want it for a limited period of time, otherwise genuine taxpayers will be demoralised," Mr Uddin said.
The briefing was attended by FBCCI senior vice-president Mostofa Azad Chowdhury Babu, vice-presidents MA Momen, Md Amin Helaly, Md Habib Ullah Dawn, Salahuddin Alamgir and MA Razzak, Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Rizwan Rahman, and Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dhaka president barrister Nihad Kabir.
Bangladesh Textile Mills Association president Mohammad Ali Khokon, and Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association president Shamim Ahmed also attended the programme.