Bangladesh should have 4cr taxpayers

Bangladesh should have 4cr taxpayers
Bangladesh now has around one crore taxpayers and the number should increase to four crore to help the government provide better public services and widen the tax net, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday.

“The government creates opportunities for us to get education and make livelihoods. And you pay tax as the state creates the scope.”

“This is a virtuous cycle where we pay tax and the government spends the money to provide services. Through this cycle, all make progress,” the minister said.

Muhith's remark came at the opening of a weeklong income tax fair at Officers Club Dhaka.

This is the ninth edition of the show, which also kicked off in other divisional cities to facilitate taxpayers in completing tax related formalities for 2018-19.

The fair will also take place for four days in all districts, two days in 32 upazilas and for one day through mobile trucks in 70 upazilas between November 13 and November 19. “The enthusiasm of people has really turned the event as a fair,” he said, referring to the queue of taxpayers who were waiting for the show to open.

Muhith said the number of taxpayers, which was once 7 lakh, is over 30 lakh now.

“And I saw somewhere yesterday (Monday) that nearly one crore people pay tax through various ways where various types of tax are taken into account. This is a good achievement,” he said.

“But we are not satisfied with the number in view of the pace of development of our country. More people should join and pay tax,” said Muhith.

He said once many were reluctant to pay tax. “That mentality no more prevails as many youths pay tax spontaneously. This is a remarkable achievement for us as a nation,” said Muhith.

Citing development of the country's road network, he said the connectivity has integrated all economic activities.

“It has created a single economy and increased the pace of the economy,” he said, adding that disparity among people is reducing fast owing to economic advancement.

“Disparity still remains but it is falling,” said Muhith, citing the declining rate of poverty, which now stands at 22 percent, down from 70 percent a couple of decades ago.

“This means that still 3 crore of the population live in poverty. We have to lift them out of poverty,” he said.

The tax fair has been gaining popularity since 2010, said National Board of Revenue Chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan.

Apart from Dhaka, the tax fair opened at Mohammad Ali Gymnasium in Sylhet.

Tax officials at the field office in the region said they were working to attain a target of issuing 18,000 new taxpayers identification numbers to expand the tax net.

The amount of tax submitted on the first day of the fair around the country was 5 percent or Tk 218 crore higher compared to that collected on the same day the previous year.

Moreover, the NBR received 46,401 returns, up 49 percent year-on-year.

In the port city, the tax fair was inaugurated at GEN Convention Centre.

The weeklong fair began on the premises of the office of Khulna tax zone at Boyra of the city.

Some 1,036 returns were submitted at the Khulna fair.

In Rajshahi, the tax fair began at the income tax building, which saw a high turnout of taxpayers on the first day yesterday, according to correspondents.

The NBR organised the same kind of events in Barishal city and Cumilla.
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