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Tax breaks should not be for all: NBR boss PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 13 March 2008

Staff Correspondent

Tax breaks should always prevail in priority sectors for industrial development, said NBR chairman Mohammad Abdul Majid Wednesday in a pre-budget discussion with the RMG sector.

The NBR boss said tax breaks for select industries should always be allowed by the government to assist those particular industries to grow unhindered so that they may contribute to national growth.

Majid was responding to BGMEA demands for extending the tax holiday it had been enjoying through a period. "All countries in the world have provisions for tax breaks for select sectors to help them grow. But such exemptions cannot be applied wholesale without judging the merits or needs of the sectors," the NBR chairman said.

"Such facilities should be shifting from those sectors which have earned considerable abilities to the weaker and needier ones for a specific tenure, which is both reasonable and acceptable," he said.

"The forthcoming pro-people budget will ensure that indigenous industrial fields flourish, attaching importance to those contributing especially in the country's economy. But the businessmen too must pay taxes duly and take care not to hoodwink the government. Only then, will the nation achieve the expected goal." On the BGMEA's demand for cutting taxes on RMG equipment imports, Majid said, "No-one tells me to increase taxes in a particular sector by 4-5 percent.

All ask for reductions only." BKMEA president Md Fazlul Hoque raised the issue of businessmen getting harassed by customs officials while importing yarn through Benapole land port. The NBR chairman assured all that any hurdles in cotton yarn import via Benapole land port would be removed after necessary review.

Rashed Alam Chowdhury of the BGMEA said: "The tax holiday allowed in the RMG sector expires in June. We request the government to extend it further." Moazzem Hossain, researcher of the Centre for Policy Dialogue, said RMG prices were falling in the international markets, which made it imperative for the government to assist the smaller RMG industries survive and compete in the market.

The NBR has decided to hold pre-budget meetings with 22 sectors to discuss the forthcoming 2008-09 budget the first of which was held Monday with the agriculture sector.

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