Citing the inconsistencies in the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2023-24 placed in the parliament on June 1 this year, Voluntary Consumers Training and Awareness Society (VOCTA) on Tuesday made its nine-point recommendation to the government for amendment.
VOCTA, a non-government voluntary organisation working on consumer rights’ issues, suggested that the government should announce its measures to control the syndicates, creating sufferings for the mass people by hiking the prices of different commodities and products.
The government should cancel the provision of mandatory payment of Tk2,000 for Tax Information Number (TIN)-holders during submission of income tax returns, it suggested.
The recommendations were placed at a press conference held on Tuesday at Jatiya Press Club. VOCTA Executive Director Khalilur Rahman Sajal presented the keynote paper while its Chairman Dr. Hossain Uddin Shekhar, Vice Chairman Sanowar Hossain Nawroz, Director (Finance) Lutfar Rahman Liton and directors Dr. Latiful Bari, Mohosinul Karim Lebu, Saidul Abedin Dollar and Nurun Nabi were present.
Sajal said that in the budget of Tk761,785 crore, the government has recognised some problems but hasn’t given any directive to get rid of the problems. Though the government showed a projection of earning Tk500,000 crore in the budget, there is still deficit of Tk261,785 crore.
Though the consumers’ rights organizations including VOCTA demanded to control inflation, creating employment and generating income to protect the rights of mass people and lessening their sufferings, the issues haven’t given mass importance in the budget, Sajal said.
Appreciating the decision of increasing the tax-free income limit to Tk3.5 lakh for individuals, he demanded that it should be Tk4 lakh. “If it’s fixed at Tk4 lakh, it would be logical.”
He also urged the government to include the people up to 60 years in the National Pension Scheme to be effective from this year considering the life expectancy limit of 71 years in the country.
He, however, appreciated the decision of imposing surcharge of more than one private car holders.
VOCTA also demanded increasing the number beneficiaries in the social safety net programmes and refrain from the decision of increasing 15 percent public expenditures in the budget.