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IMF-NBR consultation on fiscal measures

Fund team straight starts training taxmen

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An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team starts providing technical support to taxmen from today (Tuesday) to help develop their capacity on tax-expenditure analysis to measure the forgone domestic revenues through various incentives to businesses.

A team of the IMF will hold a seven-day training session for 20 select income-tax officials to assist them in conducting thorough analysis of income-tax exemptions and evaluation of financial implications of the ex-gratia.

A senior official of the NBR says the multilateral development partner is extending the technical support to the taxmen so that the revenue authority can meet its conditions set forth in the package of credit support worth US$ 4.7 billion to Bangladesh.

One of the major conditions attached to the IMF lending is to increase country's tax-GDP ratio by 0.5 per cent this fiscal year (FY) from 7.9 per cent.

The trainers' team includes three income-tax experts of the IMF--David Barr, David Went-worth and Arvind Modi-- who would provide the training to quantify tax exemptions, waivers, incentives etc, through which state revenues are forgone.

Officials said those three experts started a meeting Monday with the income-tax high-ups to know about the short-and medium-term plans of the NBR to mobilise domestic revenues that recurrently run short of annual budgetary targets.

The NBR has presented a paper on impact of tax exemptions, potential sectors to mobilise domestic revenue and so.

According to an official note of the NBR, the team of trained 20 officials would have to complete a tax- expenditure estimation report for 2021-22 and furnish a projection for FY 2024-25 by April 30, 2024, in doing the spadework for how to proceed for the upcoming fiscal.

This is part of a series of consultations by a mission from the Washington-based multilateral financier, geared towards necessary reforms aimed at increasing tax receipts, sources said.

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