PM asks all eligible taxpayers to come under tax net (Video)

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday emphasized changing the mindset of both the taxpayers and revenue collectors in a bid to widen the tax net and also increase the number of taxpayers and income tax returnees.

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“We’ll have to motivate all the people who are eligible to pay income tax to come under the tax net,” she said, laying utmost importance on increasing revenue earnings, while inaugurating the online tax payment system at a function at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city.

Finance Minister AMA Muhith and PM’s Economic Affairs Adviser Dr. Mashiur Rahman spoke as special guests at the function.

National Board of Revenue (NBR) chairman Dr. Nasiruddin Ahmed, who presided over the function, also gave the address of welcome. FBCCI president AK Azad also spoke on the occasion.

Commissioner of Income Tax Kanan Kumar Roy made a presentation on the online tax payment system while a documentary drama was also screened at the function.

The Prime Minister also directed the concerned authorities to quickly accomplish the task of tax e-filing system and VAT e-payment system apart from the tax e-payment system to ensure more transparency.

She expressed the hope that with the launching of online tax payment system, there would be more revenue earnings and all the citizens who are eligible to pay income tax would be motivated. “Expatriate Bangladeshis can also avail the service through visiting the specific portal.”

Hasina asked the authorities concerned for gradual improvement of the online tax payment system according to the demand of the taxpayers. She also emphasized regular maintenance of interactive tax website to handle the pressure of the service seekers especially in August and September.

She mentioned that the revenue earnings would have to be increased as her government wants to stand on its own feet to meet the development goals of its own funding.

The Prime Minister said that her government has made reforms in the overall tax administration, modernized it and increased the scope of automation along with infrastructural development.

She said: “We’ve also made the tax payment system easy, launched tax information and service centre, and improved the tax policy and tax management system.”

She added: “As a result, there has been a tremendous success in direct tax collection in the last three years as revenue earnings have been doubled and it also witnessed around 18 percent growth in the current year.”

Hasina said that her government has taken the initiative to make the Income Tax and VAT Act as time-befitting as well as to construct a modern revenue building in the capital apart from expanding the income tax and VAT departments.

She said that despite the global economic recession, Bangladesh’s economy is moving ahead tackling the domestic and international risks. Besides, all the macro economic indicators of the country including GDP growth, imports-exports, remittance, investment, production, employment and foreign currency reserve are positive.

The Prime Minister said that the country is progressing well in all sectors and Bangladesh is now considered as a model in international arena. “The rural economy has been energized… income of people has increased so also the demand. A good domestic market has been created and we’ve also made infrastructural development to attract local and foreign investment,”

Urging all to get habituated and gain knowledge on information technology, she laid importance that not a single individual of the country should miss the train of network society.

Hasina said: “We want to build a hunger and poverty free prosperous and peaceful digital Bangladesh by 2021 and also to build ‘Sonar Bangla’ as dreamt by father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.”

She also expressed the hope that every citizen of the country would become habituated with the digital system much ahead of 2021, if the progress of different e-services can be maintained.

In this regard, she referred to the introduction of e-government, e-commerce, e-health, e-education, e-banking and the latest e-tax payment systems.

Mentioning that Bangladesh is moving ahead keeping pace with the digitalized world, the Prime Minister said that her government is also moving forward in building a ‘Digital Bangladesh’ free from digital divide for all Bangladeshis irrespective of rich and poor, educated and uneducated.

She also listed various successes of the Awami League government including breaking the monopoly business of mobile phones, increasing its coverage and reducing its charges, introducing e-services through mobile phones, increasing coverage and speed of internet as well as its bandwidth capacity, introducing online VAT registration and tax return submission system.

Later, the Prime Minister inaugurated the online tax payment system by paying her advance income tax online for the year 2012-13.

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