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Thursday, August 22, 2019

Muhith can't be blamed, he is part of the system

National Board of Revenue has allowed former finance minister AMA Muhith to release an imported car under the duty-free scheme meant for the Members of Parliament. The NBR on Monday issued a special order exempting Muhith from payment of all types of import duty, value-added tax and supplementary duty to release a Toyota Land Cruiser jeep, a sports utility vehicle, from Chattogram Customs House. The NBR provided the benefit after getting approval from the 'appropriate authorities' following a  recommendation of the National Parliament Secretariat, said an order signed by NBR official concerned.
Muhith is not entitled to the duty-free car import benefit as he is not a member of the current 11th parliament. Muhith had been entitled to the benefit as a member of the 10th Jatiya Sangsad. As Muhith failed to avail the benefit at that time, now he is not eligible for the benefit as per the law. Officials said that the NBR extended the benefit to Muhith considering the circumstances. However, they did not elaborate - what's the circumstance. But it would be accepted as an unworthy example of a man of Mr Muhith's stature and integrity, who could not resist the temptation of enjoying the undue privilege though he has ceased to be a member of the parliament. Our younger generation cannot hope to find selflessness among those who call themselves politicians in present political spectrum of the country.
We are living with politics of greed and plunder. Whether as finance minister he failed the nation or not, he was known as personally not greedy although corruption and outright robbery in financial institutions were tolerated all around.
It will be hypocritical to criticise Mr Muhith for enjoying some small tax benefits, he is still anxious to remain as a part of the system. We are certainly sorry that the former finance minister has earned an unethical reputation at the end of his political career.