Sunday, December 17, 2017 | ePaper

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VAT, excise duty on bank account draws flake at JS

VAT won't do good, if graft not halted, lawmakers say

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Members of both the treasury and opposition benches continued their criticism on Sunday against the VAT (value added tax) and other duties proposed in the budget for the next fiscal saying that such initiatives have created discontent among the people.
Taking part in the budget discussion, the lawmakers also opined that it would not do good by widening VAT net, if widespread corruption is not curbed.
In this regard, the MPs in a chorus demanded withdrawal of VAT and the excise duty has imposed on the bank balance. At the same time, they blasted the government for skyrocketing price of the essential goods in the month of Ramzan. State Minister for Health and Family Planning Affairs Zahid Malek urged the authorities concerned to reduce the rate of VAT and excise duty on bank accounts, and take effective measures to prevent money laundering through 'hundi'.
Echoing the same, opposition MP and Secretary General of Jatiya Party Ruhul Amin Hawlader said if the proposed excise duty comes effect, about Tk 200 crore will be siphoned off from the country.
"The Finance Minister now targets the deposited money of general people. There is huge discontent among the people for increasing excise duty. So far we know, the proposed budget was prepared targeting the next election. It is unexpected that the government puts burden on the shoulder of general people by imposing VAT. The countrymen are frustrated," Hawlader said.
Lawmaker from the Jatiya Samajtantrick Dal Lutfa Taher said: "The people will have to face severe trouble for this increased VAT ….I urge the government to withdraw excise duty from bank accounts."
Jatiya Party MP Mohammad Noman said it would not do any help by increasing VAT, if corruption is not stopped. "This budget will mount sufferings of middle and lower-middle class people," he said.
Expressing anxiety, another Jatiya Party leader Abu Hossain Babla said several newspapers will face forced shutdown due to high VAT and e4xcise duty.   
Awami League Presidium member Colonel (retd.) Faruk Khan, however, tried to put blame on the shoulder of BNP for 'showing the path of corruption'.
Former President of Federation Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry Yusuf Abdullah Harun was also of the same opinion. He blamed the BNP for mismanagement in their term.

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