Tax hike proposed on exports
The finance minister, AMA Muhith, on Thursday proposed to increase tax at source on all kinds of export to 1.2 per cent from 0.6-.07 per cent for the next fiscal year. The minister in his budget speech at Jatiya Sangsad said it was essential to collect taxes from exports for the interest of the country.
‘Side by side we need to prepare a level-playing field for promoting exports by imposing taxes on all kinds of export trade equally. To this end, I propose to make a provision for deducting tax at source at a uniform rate i.e. 1.2 per cent per cent from all kinds of export,’ said Muhith.
The National Board of Revenue deducts 0.6-0.7 per cent tax at source on exports of different items at present.
Business leaders, however, opposed the finance minister’s move at a time when the country’s exports are falling because of economic crisis in USA and EU.
‘We request the finance minister to withdraw the proposal to increase tax on exports to 1.2 per cent. Our export sector is already struggling because of global economic crisis,’ said president of Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry AK Azad in his immediate reaction to the minister’s budget proposal on Thursday evening.
He said that the Bangladeshi exports item would lose competitiveness if tax on exports was increased. ‘The nagging energy and power crisis has already made our cost of production high. The additional burden of tax would make exporters more vulnerable,’ he said.