Govt eyes 10m taxpayers: Kamal

'No tax hike in next budget'

FE Report | Published: May 16, 2019 11:10:01 | Updated: May 21, 2019 14:09:06

File photo of Finance Minister A H M Mustafa Kamal

Finance Minister A H M Mustafa Kamal said the government has a plan to raise the number of taxpayers to 10 million by the next fiscal year (FY), 2019-20.

"Now the number of eligible taxpayers in the country is estimated to be 40 million, and 10 million of them will be brought under tax payment network," the finance minister said on Wednesday.

Currently, the government is dealing with around 2.0-2.2 million total TIN (tax identification number) holders and taxpayers, he mentioned.

Mr Kamal said these while talking to newsmen after a meeting with former governors of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) and economists at his Sher-e-Bangla Nagar office in the city.

He further said the government will take all necessary measures to widen the existing tax net.

Acknowledging the existing manpower shortage, the minister added that the government will take various steps for increasing revenue collection, which might include outsourcing tax collection process and launching offices at upazila level.

Mr. Kamal, however, said the next budget will not see any rise in tax rates. Rather, tax rates might decline in the next budget, he added.

Former caretaker government adviser A B Mirza Azizul Islam, BB former governor Mohammad Farashuddin, BB Governor Fazle Kabir, and senior officials from the Ministry of Finance, the Economic Relations Division (ERD) and the BB were present at the meeting.

Mirza Azizul Islam said the tax-GDP (gross domestic product) ratio in Bangladesh is one of the lowest, and suggested steps for increasing it.

At the meeting the participants also suggested withdrawal of the existing excise duty on bank deposit as well as providing necessary support to SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and venture capital.

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