'NBR, FBCCI have no objection over new VAT law'

Finance minister assures 'hassle-free' implementation of the law

Published: May 14, 2019 19:19:24 | Updated: May 17, 2019 13:17:08

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) and the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) do not have any objection now over the new VAT law that will be implemented from the first of July this year.

The apex trade body and the revenue collector also minimised the gaps between them to move forward with government’s plan to implement the law.

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal gave the information while briefing reporters at the Economic Relations Division (ERD) office on Tuesday afternoon.  Before the press conference, the minister held a meeting with the NBR and the FBCCI, reports BSS.

“I think, now there is no distance between the government and the FBCCI as all of those gaps have been minimised. We are now looking forward to implement this VAT law from the first of July,” the finance minister said.

The finance minister said the FBCCI had earlier demanded to have a look at the final draft of the VAT law before passing it in parliament.

"But, there is some technical difficulty as there is no such provision in the law to discuss over the final draft of the law until it is passed in parliament," Kamal said.

The minister also sought the cooperation from the business community in a bigger way.

“It might take a pretty long time to fully implement it……VAT is now in place in a limited scale, but we want to implement it in a more transparent, organised and hassle-free way so that no taxpayer gets hurt as well as the government gets VAT properly. We want to get VAT through a win-win situation and we’re working to create that equilibrium, “he added.

Answering to a question, Kamal said he has assured the FBCCI leaders that as per the methodology that the government is now following, there is no such plan to increase the VAT rate, rather it will be reduced on some items.

He told another questioner that the proposed three-tier VAT rates would remain the same in the new VAT law.

NBR Chairman Md Mosharraf Hussain Bhuiyan, FBCCI President-elect Sheikh Fazle Fahim, outgoing FBCCI President Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin and immediate past BGMEA President Siddiqur Rahman were present, among others.

NBR Chairman Md Mosharraf Hussain Bhuiyan said they would resolve the disputes if arise any during the implementation of the new VAT law.

Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said Bangladesh is now on the momentum of overall economic development and all concerned including the business community have been working from their respective positions to materialise the vision of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Shafiul said the finance minister has assured them that tax would not be hiked on any item rather it would be reduced on some cases. “It’s enough to have trust and confidence over the government. The government will look forward to enhance the tax net,”

He said the apex trade body would extend cooperation to the government for simplification of the tax system as reforms in tax and VAT is an ongoing process and a joint working committee of the NBR and FBCCI would continue to work in this regard.

Mentioning that there might be differences of opinion, Shafiul said, “We always try to bridge the gap and come to a common platform to take it forward. The tax-GDP ratio is still low in the country and we always want to address it properly…….we want to move forward together,”

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