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PM urges people to pay taxes

Opens 2-day first-ever revenue conference
BSS . Dhaka
05 Feb 2023 12:38:16 | Update: 06 Feb 2023 00:07:18
PM urges people to pay taxes
— PID Photo

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday called upon the countrymen to pay their taxes, stressing the need for increasing revenue income and expanding the tax net in view of the ongoing global economic crisis.

“Those who are able to pay taxes, not only in the capital or in cities, but also across the country, please pay your taxes. The government will use the money in your service and welfare,” she said.

While inaugurating the country’s first-ever two-day Revenue Conference-2023 aimed at developing the revenue management system, the prime minister said the entire world is now going through an economic recession and high inflation rate, which also fell upon Bangladesh. 

“So, we have to step ahead after facing those (economic recession and high inflation rate). The more we collect taxes, the more it will be easy and possible to overcome it,” she said.

The prime minister asked the concerned authorities to work with sincerity and professionalism to extend the tax net, instead of increasing the rates of taxes and wage a massive awareness movement across the country to inspire the people to pay taxes.

Referring to her government’s policy of making huge development from the grassroots in the last 14 years since 2009, she said there are people with the ability to pay taxes at the union and upazila levels.

She added “We don’t want to increase the rate of taxes as the inflation rate is high now. We want to increase the number of taxpayers, and you should pay attention to it.”

Sheikh thanked the revenue collection authority for introducing e-tax filing system cashing in on the advantages of being ‘Digital Bangladesh’.

“People will be inspired to pay their taxes online, as many consider paying taxes manually a hassle,” she said, and asked the authorities concerned to popularise the system through massive publicity.

PM urges all to make investment in Bangladesh

Sheikh Hasina called upon all to make investments in the country for building a developed Bangladesh.

“Everyone please make investments (in the country). It will not only bring benefits for yourself, but also for the country,” she said.

The prime minister made the call while inaugurating the newly constructed “Biniyog Bhaban” (Investment Building) of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) as chief guest in the city’s Agargaon area.

The multi-storey Investment Building would be used as the offices of three agencies –BIDA, the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) and the National Skills Development Authority (NSDA).

The prime minister laid emphasis on expansion of the export basket incorporating new export items alongside exploring new markets. 

“Bangladesh will progress further through both local and foreign investment, and Bangladesh will be a developed country by 2041,” she said.

Mentioning that the main target of her government is to develop the people of the grassroots level, she said “Their purchasing power is increasing, their per capita income is increasing and, in this case, our own market is being created.”

In this connection, she also said that the government has established communication with the neighbouring countries including Bhutan, Nepal, India, Thailand and Myanmar as Bangladesh is geographically located in a good position.

She noted that South Asia is a market of 300 crore people and anyone can take advantage of it.

Sheikh Hasina mentioned that an international airport is being constructed in Cox’s Bazar, besides establishing direct rail communication with Dhaka and developing roads.

“Bangladesh could be a bridge between the East and the West. We are developing Bangladesh in that way,” she said.

She said the geopolitical location is in favour of Bangladesh and that is why the government is establishing a deep-sea port in Matarbari, the development of Payra port alongside Chattogram and Mongla ports is going on and the Bay terminal is being built along with other facilities.

“I hope this forward march of Bangladesh will continue,” she added.

The prime minister urged all the businessmen to work with confidence as the government will build the country as smart Bangladesh where people will be smart, economy will be smart, business will be smart and all works will be done digitally.

She said the government is setting up hi-tech parks and incubation centres where people are getting training and this is a huge place of investment.

She opined that agriculture and ICT are very important for Bangladesh. “Our children are very meritorious and they learn so quickly. You (businessman) have to utilise it.” 

The prime minister mentioned that her government has provided cent per cent electricity across the country.  She, however, said the users should pay the actual cost to avail themselves of gas and electricity supply.

“The gas and electricity supply can be given, if all agree to pay the purchasing costs. How much subsidy can be given to it? And why should we give subsidies to it?” she said, adding that the government is providing subsidies to agriculture and food production in the greater interest of the common people.

The premier said the production cost of per kilowatt electricity is Tk 12, but its price is only Tk 6. Despite this, the government is criticised for this electricity tariff, she said.

In England, the electricity price has been increased by 150 per cent. “We’ve not reached this stage (such a worse situation) yet,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina urged the country’s people to make investments in a larger way in the food and agro-processing industry, particularly in the 100 economic zones, now being developed throughout the country.

She said there is high demand for food in the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing war. The food prices soared significantly, she said.  

With Prime Minister’s Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman, MP, in the chair, BIDA Executive Chairman Lokman Hossain Miah delivered the welcome address. 

Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister M Tofazzel Hossain Miah was also present, among others.

Newly constructed NBR building inaugurated

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the newly constructed 12-storey building of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) at Dhaka’s Agargaon.

She inaugurated the new Revenue Building through unveiling its plaque on Sunday morning.

After inaugurating the building, the prime minister marvelled at its different sections.

Internal Resources Division Senior Secretary and National Board of Revenue (NBR) Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem and its Member Dr Abdul Mannan Shikder were present, among others.

With the opening of the new building, the NBR has got a new establishment with all modern facilities after 50 years of its inception.

The Public Works Department constructed the most modern and eye-catching building at a cost of Tk 412 crore.

The building has an eco-friendly central air conditioning system, eight elevators, a 510-seat multipurpose hall, a revenue archive, a library, a record room and a central data processing centre and server space.

Besides, it has a computer lab, training centre as well as other facilities like a full-time generator, building management system, access control security system, entry and exit for the physically challenged and senior citizens, cafeteria, day-care centre, media centre and separate prayer rooms.

Each of the floors of the building has about 46,000 square feet of space, which is the largest floor space among all buildings in Bangladesh.

Already many of the units, including Large Taxpayers Units (LTU) under VAT and the Income Tax wing of NBR, started shifting to the new building. The Tax Appellate Tribunal started its office on January 1.

All shifting is set to be completed by the middle of February. From March 1, the revenue board will fully start office in the new building of NBR, official sources said.

2-day first-ever revenue conference starts

Minister Sheikh Hasina has inaugurated a two-day revenue conference-2023 aimed at developing the country's revenue management system.

She opened the conference — the first of its kind in the country — at a function held at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the city.

Internal Resources Division Senior Secretary and National Board of Revenue (NBR) Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem and its Member Dr Abdul Mannan Shikder spoke at the function.

A video documentary on the activities of the NBR was screened on the occasion.

Three seminars on value added tax (VAT), customs and income tax will be held marking the conference.

There will be information booths on these issues to let the people know more about VAT, customs and income tax. At the same time, awareness about online services will also increase.