Bangladesh Chamber of Industries (BCI) has demanded fiscal support for the micro- and small-scale industries along with light engineering and agro-processing sectors to diversify the country's export basket.
The chamber leaders at a pre-budget meeting on Wednesday also sought tax holiday facility for at least five years for the young entrepreneurs.
BCI president Anwarul-Alam Chowdhury (Pervez) said the world market size of light engineering products would be around US$ 7.0 trillion as compared to $ 820 billion readymade garments (RMG) market.
The BCI leaders placed their proposals for considering in the national budget for fiscal year (FY) 2021-22.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) organised the meeting at its premises, presided over by chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem.
Mr Pervez demanded tax benefit for investment in technical and vocational training, remuneration of foreign technical experts and eco-friendly industries, and sought separate budget allocation for private sector health care services.
He proposed to bring down the corporate tax rates to 20-25 per cent in the next FY.
The BCI president also urged the tax officials to accept the reality that the taxpayers' income might fall in a year compared to that of the previous years.
For checking the under- and over-invoicing, he suggested the customs authorities to introduce value-based assessment system while the slabs of the value should be flexible.=
BCI vice president Priti Chakrabarti stressed the need for a clear guideline for the private sector health care service providers and demanded including it in the next budget.
The BCI members proposed to reduce the time of document preservation by businesses for reopening tax files and, offer tax benefit for manufacturers of local home appliances and the businesses working for transgender.
In response, the NBR chairman said the board would review the proposals seeking protection for local manufacturers of home appliances and tax benefit for companies working for transgender.
"To check tax evasion by a quarter, we have to take some protective measures which may hurt micro- and small-scale industries," he said, adding it has been found that the tax benefit meant for small and medium industries are enjoyed by large companies.
"We came to know about abuse of the existing tax benefit. Traders are enjoying the facility instead of small scale local industries," he said.
He also assured to review the BCI leaders proposals on document preservation time.
The BCI members proposed to offer tax benefit for the companies if they employ 5.0 per cent of their workforce from physically challenged or transgender.
They sought upward revision of annual turnover limit of industries for enjoying reduced rate of VAT to Tk 100 million from Tk 30 million, cut turnover tax rate by one percentage point, offer tax benefit for the industries that are unable to obtain VAT rebate in inputs.
The chamber leaders also proposed upward revision of tax-free limit for individual taxpayers to Tk 400,000 in the upcoming budget.