Dhaka, Fri, Oct 2017

Economy

Addl excise duty on bank accounts likely to go: Mannan

13 June 2017,Tuesday, 17:13



State Minister for Finance and Planning MA Mannan on Tuesday said the withdrawal of additional excise duty on bank accounts imposed in the proposed national budget for 2017-18 fiscal is under consideration of the government, reports UNB.

"My firm belief is that we'll be able to reach an acceptable solution over the issue. The government is now thinking about it," he said while participating in the general discussion on the proposed budget.

Noting that many MPs gave their opinions over it in Parliament in the last few days, the junior minister said, "Our leader who leads the government and the Finance Minister are not deaf and dumb. They live with people...they heard speeches in and outside Parliament."

The proposed national budget for 2017-18 fiscal year slapped Tk 800 excise on bank accounts with balance between Tk 1 lakh and Tk 10 lakh at any time of a year.

Mannan said the excise duty has been there on bank accounts since 1947. "When we came to power in 2009, we found Tk 500 excise duty on all the bank accounts. We rather withdrew the excise duty from all the accounts with a balance of less than Tk one lakh," he added.

About unified 15 percent Value Added Tax (VAT), the state minister said there is a VAT system in 169 countries of the world right now. The average VAT rate in the world is 14.80 percent, but the rate is 15 percent in Bangladesh.

"There're some questions about 15 percent VAT which is matter of grave concern," he said adding that the daily essentials of low-income people, who are 60-70 percent of the country's population, have been kept out of the purview of VAT.

Admitting that weakness in the appointment of project directors is one of the major challenges for implementation of the budget, he said government officials who have no relevant experiences are made project directors as reward during the eleventh hour of their service tenure in some cases. The Prime Minister has recently instructed for removing such the project directors, he added.

"One person could be the director of a project. But, it's not accepted that one person will be the director of 8-10 projects simultaneously. We've recently taken a decision in an Ecnec meeting to stop this practice forever," he added.

He urged the Prime Minister and Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister to review the matter of exporting female workers to the Middle East counties where they do not get the due honour. There have been some negative news in media over Bangladeshi female workers now working in the Middle East countries.

 

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