Press Conference on IBFB 2017-18 FY Budget Observations
Press Conference of IBFB on National Budget 2017-18, held on Wednesday 14 June 2017, Dhaka Press Club
In order to foster the overall economic development and strengthen the economic basement there is no any alternative of creative and target oriented budget. International Business Forum of Bangladesh believe that, to make Bangladesh a middle income nation by 2021 and a peaceful developed country by 2041 a diversified, expanded and implementable budget is highly essential. Though, many says the budget of 4,00,266 crore tk. For FY 2017-18 is very luxurious but we think according to our economic growth and business expansion it is acceptable and we would like to thank Honorable Finance Minister for announcing this amount of budget.
IBFB president said, in 2015-16 FY the growth of budget allocation was 17.8% compared to 2014-15 and in 2017-18 FY the budget allocation raised 17.51%. but cutting the budget in the revised form due to lack of implementation capacity is really depressing for the business and economy. In 2015-16 FY India and Vietnam implemented 100% of their budget where Bangladesh implemented only 79.4%.
Mr. Khan concerned that although during the first 9 month (July-March) ADP implementation never reached 50% in last 7 years, at the end of the fiscal year ADP implementation rate found above 80% which may not ensure the quality of work and questioned the transparency and accountability of overall process. To hold the same speed of ADP implementation throughout the year IBFB president suggest to utilize money from the 3 years rolling budget.
Mr. Khan said, imposing additional excise duty on Bank deposit will allow govt. to generate extra 210 crore Tk. but will create huge concern in all the levels of the country. He appealed for withdrawing this additional excise duty to free up the citizen from tension. IBFB president welcomes the proposal to increase the special duty on filter and non-filter Bidi which will discourage the ordinary people from smoking at least to some extent. Further, the IBFB chief expressed his frustration that, increasing duty on solar panel and decreasing duty will be environmentally unsustainable decision. Additional duty on solar panel will increase its price level which will reduce the solar panel installation rate to a larger extent. Consequently, the green job generation will be affected in the country.
Further, the IBFB President opined, proposed 15% vat rate creates strain among the business community and citizen. He said, in the South Asian countries (India, Pakistan, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka) the average vat rate is 13.5%, in lower middle income nations of Asia the rate of vat is 11.8% which is considerably lower than Bangladesh. He proposed to keep the vat at 12% and adjust the revenue deficit from the 3% vat reduction by increasing the tax rate of Bank, Insurance and Mobile phone companies.
Mr. Khan welcomes the vat rebate for the domestic industries but depressed for not providing vat rebate on emerging industries of the country. He said, while other industries received vat rebate till 2019 domestic Motor cycle industry is kept out from such facility which need to be revised for ensuring level playing field for all.
The IBFB President concerned as economic zones are considering for boosting employment and trade no allocation is kept for the development of planned economic zones. He called for special allocation for the economic zone.
He also, urges to encourage the investors to invest in the remote and economically backward region of Bangladesh by providing tax rebate, vat reduction and make sure the availability of power and gas. Mr. khan also called to reduce indirect tax and increase direct tax. Because indirect tax impose burden on the poor people. He said, New Zealand collecting 58% tax revenue from direct tax and India collecting 51.6% tax revenue from direct tax. He also suggested to increase the number of taxpayers rather than increasing the tax rate.
After the speech of President, Dr. Abdul Majid, Director of IBFB and Former Chairman of NBR and Mr. Humayun Rashid, Vice President of IBFB (Finance) kept speech on budget. Mr. Mahmdul Islam Chowdhury, Founding President of IBFB kept the inaugural speech. Among other, Dr. Mozibur Rahman, Director of IBFB and former Chairman of Bangladesh Tariff Commission and Sayed Mustafizur Rahman Director of IBFB were also present at the press conference.