SECOND PART

 

FISCAL MEASURES

 

 

 

          Mr. Speaker,

 

  In the first part, I have informed   this august Parliament of the objectives of our socio-economic development and of the various strategic policies for poverty alleviation, investment, human resource and infrastructure development, public and private sector partnership, and overseas development assistance, implementation of development programmes and comprehen-sive financial management of the alliance government. Now, in the second part, I would like to focus on the steps taken, procedure followed and efforts made to mobilize internal resources.

 

Mr. Speaker,

 

          02.     I have to inform this august Parliament with regret that the contribution of tax revenue to our national economy is inadequate. Even in comparison with our neighbouring and other developing countries, we are much behind in this regard. It is not desirable for us to be known as an entity averse to paying taxes. We have to increase the collection of internal resources for ensuring an unhindered allocation of resources required for the overall economic development of the country. In the current fiscal year 2003-2004, we set a target of 29,071 crore taka to be collected from the sources of the National Board of Revenue and others, the target for the NBR being 27,750 crore taka. It is expected that by the end of this fiscal year the total tax revenue will stand at 28,300 crore taka, out of which the contribution of the NBR will be 27,050 crore taka. Compared to last year's collection there will be about 17% growth in total revenue and for NBR alone that will be 16.62 %.

 

Mr. Speaker,

 

          03.          In order to ensure that the prices of certain essential commodities remain stable in the domestic market, mid-term measures in the form of reduction or withdrawal of import duty, adjustment in the VAT and supplementary duty were taken in the backdrop of price hike of those items in the international market. These have made a negative impact on the achievement of revenue target. In principle, I do not like the reduction of tax rates as a mid-term measure at all. This kind of measures should be avoided unless there are compelling necessities. Mid-term changes in the duty and tax rates adversely affect revenue resulting in a reduced tax collection. As a result, allocation of resources earmarked for various development programmes cannot be ensured which impedes implementation process and slows down the expected rate of economic growth.

 

Mr. Speaker,

 

          04.          Frequent hartals, strikes and siege programmes are self-destructive for the country and the nation. The effects of such activities are devastating on revenue earning, and, for that matter, on overall economic activities of the country. By now, the frequency of hartals has reached such a level that there were 5 (five) nation-wide and 7 (seven) regional hartals only in the last months of April and May.  It is unfortunate for the nation if  we fail to realize the gravity of the harms caused by such self-destructive hartals and siege programmes. If such situation prevails, it will be difficult to implement the development programmes undertaken for poverty alleviation and to achieve the objectives of the Millennium Development Goal. The nation has to find a way out.

 

Mr. Speaker,

     

          05.          Ours is a democratically elected government accountable to the people. Our prime objective is the overall welfare of the country and its people by ensuring good governance, social justice and development along with evolving a modern, tolerant and simple tax system in commensurate with global and regional trade liberalization. Import revenue will decline in the process of trade liberalization owing to gradual removal of trade barriers and reduction of customs duty, keeping pace with the forces of free market economy. So, we have to put more emphasis on income tax and VAT. We have to make our revenue administration and management efficient, more effective and modern by ensuring good governance, transparency and accountability. With that end in view, reform programmes have been undertaken to reorganize the NBR and to simplify tax laws and regulations as well as to ensure their enforcement and compliance. These reform programmes are mainly aimed at introducing a modern outlook in tax administration and management, and reducing the discretionary powers of tax officials, expanding tax base, simplifying tax payment procedure, removing inefficiency, preventing corruption, and ensuring more transparency and accountability in tax administration.

 

Mr. Speaker,

 

          06.  The reform-oriented activities, pursuant to relentless practice of democracy, our government have consolidated reciprocal trust and solidarity within public and private sector partnership. Consistent with democratic norms and principles, in the process of budget formulation we have exchanged views in several rounds of meetings and discussions with various professional groups and business bodies, as well as with economists and Hon’ble Members of Parliament. Their valuable suggestions significantly contributed to overall budget formulation process. This consultation process will be more intense in future. I have tried to accommodate in the budget the recommendations of the Revenue Reforms Commission, as well as the valuable suggestions and guidance from these discussions.

 

Mr. Speaker,

 

          07.          Now I would like to place before this august Parliament the important proposals relating to direct and indirect taxes.

 

 

 


 

Direct Tax

Income Tax

 

 

Mr. Speaker,

 

          08.          Of the direct and indirect taxes, Income Tax is a major source for mobilising internal resources. As an outcome of globalization, collection of import duties is gradually declining. Hence, increasing importance is being put on Income Tax. On the one hand, Income Tax raises internal resource and ensures social justice, and on the other, ensures equitable distribution of wealth in society.

 

          09.          It is therefore very important to develop a modern, efficient and accountable tax administration and an environment congenial and simple for the taxpayers to comply. To achieve this goal, reforms measures have been undertaken to widen the scope of self-assessment, reduce discretionary powers of tax officials and improve the tax paying culture. In principle, I am not in favour of imposing new taxes. And, I believe it is possible to increase collection of revenue through effective management and service-oriented administration. This will further expand the tax base by encouraging spontaneous compliance.

 


Mr. Speaker,

 

          10.          With a view to expanding the tax base, making the tax rate equitable, simplifying tax payment procedures and also to make the tax administration and management service-oriented, I am now presenting my proposals Mr. Speaker, before this august Parliament through you;

 

(a)          Revenue Reforms Commission as well as with the members of various professional and commercial organisations have suggested that in view of inflation and increase in the cost of living, tax burden of the individual class of assessees should be reduced by raising the ceiling of the tax-exempt income and also by further enhancing the ceiling attracting the highest rate of income tax. Taking these into consideration, the level of tax-exempt income will be raised from Tk. 90,000/- to Tk. 1,00,000/- and for the highest rate, the level will also be raised to Tk. 9,00,000/- from Tk. 6,40,000/-. The schedule of income and rates of tax may be seen at (Annexe-'A').

 

(b)          To provide the taxpayers with the opportunity to draw up their financial plan in advance and to assess their tax liability at the beginning of a year, I want to introduce the practice of declaring the schedule of tax-rate also for the following income-year. Accordingly, the schedule of income tax rates of individuals, local authorities and companies prescribed for the assessment year 2004-2005 will also be applicable for the assessment year 2005-2006.

 

(c)          To encourage foreign direct and joint investment, the existing tax rate of 15% on income from capital gains arising out of transfer of stocks and shares of private limited companies be reduced to 10%.

 

(d)          At present, the tax rates applicable for textile and jute industries are 20% and 37.5%, respectively, which creates discrimination between the two sectors. In order to remove this anomaly and also to provide some relief to them, the rates of income tax for both sectors be re-fixed at 15%.

 

(e)          To make submission of income tax returns compulsory for all individuals, firms, companies or institutions holding Tax Identification Number (TIN).

 

(f)          To make it compulsory for all individual assessees to submit expenditure statement reflecting their style of living.

 

(g)          To make it compulsory for all clubs in metropolitan and urban cities having restaurant and rest house facilities to submit tax return for assessment of tax on their net income and also to make it compulsory for a person to furnish TIN while applying for membership of any such club.

 

(h)          The rate of deduction of tax at source from the transfer of immovable properties was reduced from 10% to 5% during the year 2002-2003. The government expected that this reduction in registration cost as well as income tax would contribute to the increased collection of both registration fees and income tax. But, in fact, it has not been the case. On the contrary, tax collection from this sector has fallen. For the sake of collection of tax that is due, the rate of advance deduction of income tax for registration of transfer deeds of immovable properties be raised to the previous level of 10%.

 

(i)          At present, the rate of deduction of advance income tax on the profit from the approved securities and bonds varies from 25% to 45%. For the sake of equity, the rate of deduction of tax on approved securities and bonds be reduced to 20% to encourage the secondary market for securities and bonds.

 

(j)          To allow repair and maintenance expenses at the rate of 30% of annual value in case of approved commercial buildings and rented out   for commercial purpose.

 

(k)          To allow the company assessees to avail themselves of the self-assessment facility, the requirement to show increase of income by 10% every year be reduced to 5%.

 

(l)          Also to empower the Board to choose any return for audit out of the self-assessment returns submitted by the individual and company assessees.

 

 

Mr. Speaker,

 

          11.          Tax holiday and tax exemption shrinks the tax base. Yet, tax holiday and tax exemption facilities have been allowed to continue for a long time in the interest of industrialization. Now-a-days, it is considered more logical and effective to adopt a discounted rate of tax for a definite period of time at the initial stages of the newly setup industries as an alternative to tax holiday or tax exemption. This has been recommended by the Revenue Reforms Commission. Tax holiday period will come to an end in 2005. So, we are considering introduction of a system of taxing the newly set-up industries as recommended by the Revenue Reforms Commission at a reasonably discounted rate instead of further extending the tax-holiday period.

 

Mr. Speaker,

 

          12.          With a view to enforcing discipline in the tax management by proper application of tax laws together with increased monitoring and effective enforcement of laws and regulations, I am now presenting some proposals before the Parliament:-

 

(a)          To encourage the taxpayers to submit returns in time and discourage delay, the initial penalty of Tk. 500/- be raised to 10% of the last assessed income with a minimum of Tk. 2,500/- and in case of continued default, Tk. 250/- for each day of default.

 

(b)          To discourage the habit of delaying payment of income tax by filing appeals to the Tribunal against appeal orders, provisions to be made mandatory for payment of 15% of the difference between the demand arising out of the appeal order and the admitted tax liability by the assessees before filing appeal to the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal. The Commissioner of Taxes be also empowered to reduce this amount on reasonable grounds.

 

(c)          At present, the responsibilities of executing the income tax laws and rules rest on the Zonal Tax Commissioners. Being busy with their daily routine work, they find it difficult to detect tax evasions and take appropriate legal measures to punish the evaders and defaulters. A separate Directorate is to be setup in the Taxes Department to exclusively enforce the laws and rules to check tax evasion, monitor irregularities in tax deductions at source, its timely deposit and to ensure prompt deposit and collection of taxes.

 

(d)          Taxpayers are respected in society. It would be appropriate to give recognition to the top income tax payers. To implement this, ten top tax payers each from individuals, private limited companies and public limited companies be awarded the status of C.I.P every year.

 

Mr. Speaker,

 

          13.          During the initial year of the current tenure of the government we launched an organized survey programme with the aim of expanding the tax base by identifying new assessees. Till end of May 2004 potential taxpayers numbering 2,40,000 have been identified and registered bringing the total number of assessees to 15,50,000. The survey programme would continue with the target of identifying further 3,00,000 new assessees during the year 2004-2005.

 

          14.          Office of the Tax Ombudsman has recently been set up in a number of countries to settle tax-complaints and tax-demand. I have already taken steps to introduce Tax Ombudsman. I hope to place the Tax Ombudsman Bill to the parliament during the next fiscal year.

 

 

Indirect Taxes

Customs Duty

 

 

          Mr. Speaker,

 

          15.          I have so far presented proposals relating to direct i.e., income and corporate, taxes. Now I am placing, through you, before this august Parliament proposals regarding one of the very important indirect taxes, i.e., Customs Duties.

 

Mr. Speaker,

          16.          In this era of globalization, although the dependence of the government on customs duties as a source of revenue has gradually been decreasing, the major portion of such revenues still comes from duties and taxes levied at the import stage. Value Added Tax (VAT), Supplementary Duty (SD), Advance Income Tax (AIT) and Infrastructure Development Surcharge (IDSC) are at present collected along with Import Duties at the import stage, perhaps because it is collected in advance and is relatively easy to do so. I believe that the types of duties and taxes and their rates can be significantly reduced once the mindset of the tax-payers undergoes a change for the better and transparency and accountability in tax administration is ensured.

 

          Mr. Speaker,

 

          17.          Of the total national tax revenue, customs duty alone constitutes around 28%, which would rise up to 50% if we add to it other duties and taxes collected at the import stage. This revenue earning could have been still higher had the import of around 40% under bond and another 18% duty exempt imports, valued approximately at Taka 60,000/- crore, not been released without payment of duties and taxes. Import duties as a source of revenue has, however, been gradually losing its importance owing to the introduction of free market economy around the globe. Bangladesh, naturally, cannot be an exception to this. As a member of the WTO, we have also to reduce our dependence on import duties. Various rates of import and other duties at different slabs were leviable at import stage. While presenting the budgets for the last two fiscal years, I made commitment to reduce the number of rates of import duties. I also expressed my desire in presenting the budget of the last fiscal year, of reducing the number of customs duties from the existing four and also to significantly bring down the number of existing supplementary duties. In fulfillment of that commitment, I now propose to bring the existing four-tier customs duties to three as well as to lower the highest of such rates. The existing four-tier duty rates are 7.5%, 15%, 22.5% and 30%. I now propose to re-structure them to a three-tier rate of 7.5%, 15% and 25%. Similarly, the existing seven rates of supplementary duties leviable on imports of general nature are 15%, 25%, 30%, 40%, 50%, 60% and 75%. I propose to rationalize and bring them down to 15%, 25%, and 30%. However, in consideration of the socio-economic realities and the harmful effects of certain items on health and environment, I would propose to retain the existing high rates of supplementary duties, and in a few cases to slightly enhance them.

 

          Mr. Speaker,

 

          18.          The list of importable articles now contains a variety of items numbering 6,799. After re-structuring the rates of customs duty and bringing them down to three from the existing four, the number of zero-rated items would be 519 in place of the existing 541. Likewise, the number of items at 7.5% would be 1510 in place of the present 1,431, and at 15%, 1,879 in place of 1,305. With the abolition of 22.5% as a duty-rate, the items numbering a total of 1117 previously falling within this rate, have now found their places in any of the three re-structured rates. With the items numbering 2405 under the existing rate of 30% now falling under the proposed 25% rate and another 569 items brought from other rates, the total number of items under 25% would stand at 2,891. As a consequence of this re-structuring of rates from four to three and based on the present import value, the estimated gains in revenue would be around Taka 325 crore and the estimated loss would be around Taka 1,100 crore. The estimated net revenue loss would consequently be to the tune of Taka 775 crore (Annexe-`B'). But, then, gains in revenue in nominal terms from import as a result of inflation, normal growth and re-structuring of duty rates is estimated to be around taka 2,000 crore. Administrative improvements resulting from the use of Information Technology in the management of bonded warehouse system is expected to yield an additional revenue of taka 300 crore. Besides, additional amount of revenue estimated at around taka 1028 crore is expected in consequence of re-structuring of duties, improvement in management, speeding up clearance of goods from customs through a wider use of computer technology and over-all administrative improvements. As a result, it would be possible to achieve the revenue target for the fiscal year 2004-2005 fixed at Taka 16,008 crores.

 

          Mr. Speaker,

 

          19.          Prices of both crude and refined petroleum have registered a significant rise in the international market. The government is very careful to avoid its adverse impact. With this end in view, we have kept the assessable value of one barrel of crude oil unchanged and fixed at US$ 18.30, despite the same being priced at over US$ 40 in the international market. In addition to this, I now propose to withdraw the existing Advance Income Tax (AIT) from all types of petroleum as well as to reduce the existing supplementary duty on Kerosene from 25% to 15%. As a result, tax burden on crude oil, Kerosene and all other fuel oil will be reduced by 9%, 25% and 10%, respectively.

 

          20.          Considering the importance of the textile sector in the national economy, our government has all along been providing necessary assistance to this sector. In continuation of this and in addition to the facilities already provided, I propose to reduce the existing rates of duty on most of the raw materials and essential machinery and spares needed by this industry (Annexe- 'B').

 

          Mr. Speaker,

 

          21.          The country is now witnessing a very welcome expansion of dairy and poultry farming, in fact agriculture in general, as a result of timely steps taken for their development and expansion by our government soon after it came to power. In order to provide the sector a further boost, I propose to withdraw customs duty and value added tax on most of the capital machinery needed for this sector (Annexe -'B').

 

          22.          In order to ensure supply of electricity to far-flung and inaccessible rural areas at a relatively cheaper cost through generation of solar energy, I propose to withdraw customs duty and value added tax leviable on the machinery, parts and components needed for this sector. Private entrepreneurs, I hope, will come forward to take advantage of this and will contribute towards making electricity available to rural areas at a cheaper cost (Annexe -'B').

 

          Mr. Speaker,

 

          23.          The country does not practically have any high quality referral hospital of international standard. Many of our citizens are compelled to go abroad for the treatment of life-threatening diseases, although the same is often extremely expensive. Despite our having highly qualified, efficient and experienced physicians and doctors, sophisticated and high-quality treatment of patients is not available in the country for the sheer lack of quality hospitals. I, therefore, propose to withdraw customs duty on medical and hospital equipment and accessories. I also propose to withdraw all types of taxes and duties on certain life-support systems used in such hospitals. Entrepreneurs, I hope, will come forward to take advantage of this opportunity to establish quality hospitals of international standard to provide good-quality treatment of diseases inside the country.

 

 

          Mr. Speaker,

 

          24.          I would now place before this August Parliament a few of the important proposals relating to customs and supplementary duties –

 

(a)           The demand for sugar as a consumer item is quite big. Besides, it is needed as an essential ingredient in the production of biscuits, chocolates, soft drinks, condensed milk etc. In order, therefore, to make sugar available for the production of those items, as also to ensure its supply to the people in general, at a reasonable price, the supplementary duty on this item be reduced from 30% to 15%;

 

(b)          The present rate of duty on mobile phones is Taka 3,000/- and Taka 4,000/- per set, depending on the price of such set. This duty is proposed to be reduced to Taka 1,500/- (Taka one thousand and five hundred) only per set irrespective of its price;

 

(c)           About 80% of the papers imported in the country is now subjected to duty at the rate of 30% and the rest at a slightly lower rate. Both these rates are proposed to be unified and re-fixed at 25% across the board; and

 

(d)           The highest rate of customs duty having been reduced and the supplementary duty rates undergoing re-structuring, it has become imperative to rationalise duty on motor cars and jeeps. Supplementary Duty on motor cars and jeeps is, therefore, proposed to be re-fixed at 30% in place of the existing 15% on those having cylinder capacity up to 1649. For those having cylinder capacity above 1649 but not exceeding 3,000, it is proposed to be enhanced to 60% from the existing 40%, and for those having a cylinder capacity over 3000 it is proposed to be raised to 90% from the existing 75%.

 

          Mr. Speaker,

 

          25.          I have been putting emphasis, since taking charge of the Ministry of Finance, on the use of Information Technology (IT) as a means of bringing about efficiency, transparency and dynamism in Customs Administration. I made a mention, while presenting the budget for the fiscal year 2002-2003, of the project undertaken by the National Board of Revenue (NBR), to expedite and simplify assessment and clearance of consignments of import and export through the application of Information Technology. Assessment and Clearance of goods for home consumption and bonded facility as well as the major Custom Houses and stations of the country is being done through computer under ASYCUDA (Automated System for Customs Data) system innovated by UNCTAD. The opportunities for evasion of duty on imports and through the abuse of bonded warehouse facilities have thus been significantly cut down as a result of closer monitoring and examination made possible through computerisation. The time for release of goods from customs has therefore been greatly reduced. The National Board of Revenue has already started storing and sending flawless information on import and export to Bangladesh Bank, Export Promotion Bureau, the Bureau of Statistics and other related organisations.

 

 

VALUE ADDED TAX AND SUPPLEMENTARY DUTY

 

 

Mr. Speaker,

 

           26.          The Value Added Tax System was introduced in 1991. To begin with, it was limited only to import and manufacturing stages. Services, supplies and retail sales were brought under the VAT system in phases. As a   result, the contribution of VAT to the national revenue earning has gradually been increasing.

 

Mr. Speaker,

 

27. The Revenue Reforms Commission and various organizations recommended that the VAT system be expanded. Taking their recommendations and the prevailing reality into consideration, I propose to impose VAT on the services rendered by Amusement and Theme Parks, Picnic Spots, House Cleaning and Maintenance Agencies, Lease-Financing Institutions, Express Mail Service Providers, Film Distributors, Commercial Building and Apartment Builders, upper grade Tailoring Shops of Dhaka and Chittagong. Holding various social events and the serving of food in the community centres has become very popular in the country. If such events are held in hotels, VAT is leviable but if held in a community centre there is no VAT. To remove this discrepancy, I propose to impose VAT also on food served in community centres. The list of goods and services on which VAT is proposed to be imposed appears at (Annexe-'C').

 

          Mr. Speaker,

 

          28. The existing rates of supplementary duty on cigarettes are very high. The present government discourages smoking. With a view to discourage smoking, as well as to increase revenue collection, I therefore propose to restructure the rates of supplementary duty on cigarettes. (Annexe- `C')

 

Mr. Speaker,

 

          29. Value Added Tax levied on insurance premiums and shipping bills of 100% export-oriented ready-made garments industries, as well as on commission paid to the Clearing and Forwarding Agents by such industries is refunded. It takes a long time to get the refund. I therefore propose to withdraw collection of VAT from insurance, shipping bill and C&F agent’s commission relating to 100% export-oriented industries including ready-made garments industries at source.

 

30. To encourage payment of VAT, I propose to introduce rewards for the highest VAT paying businesses and establishments of each of the district.

 

Mr. Speaker,

 

          31. At present, the Spinning and Weaving Industries are under Excise Duty.  I propose to bring them under VAT and, at the same time, withdraw Excise Duty leviable on their products. Along with this I propose to bring the existing Domestic Air Ticket Tax under Excise.

 

Mr. Speaker,

 

32.          To streamline the Value Added Tax system, I propose to impose VAT on certain products at import and/or manufacturing stages while I propose to withdraw VAT from certain products at manufacturing stage. Besides, I propose to levy Supplementary Duty on certain products at import and manufacturing stages. The proposals appear at (Annexe-`C').

 

Mr. Speaker,

 

33.          With a view to making the VAT administration more dynamic & coherent and also to make VAT laws, rules and procedure easy to comply and enforce, proposals for   amendments  of  VAT Act and the rules have been incorporated in the Finance Bill. In order to make the system and procedure for payment of VAT comfortable for the tax payers' and also to provide them with better services, a Large Tax Payers Unit, similar to the one in Income Tax department, will be set-up for  VAT as well.

 

Mr. Speaker,

 

34.          To give effect to the proposals I have made so far relating to Income Tax, Customs Duty, Supplementary Duty and Value added Tax, a number of provisions of the Income Tax Ordinance, 1984, the Customs Act, 1969, the Value Added Tax Act, 1991 and the Travel Tax Act, 2003, and also the Rules framed thereunder need amendment. To that end, I am going to place before this Parliament the Finance Bill, 2004, following my speech. Besides, a number of Statutory Notifications will be issued to make the proposals effective. The list of such notifications appears at Annexe-‘C'.

 

          Mr. Speaker,

         

          35.          I have so far   spoken about the proposals, the steps to be taken and the procedures followed for the collection of revenues during the fiscal year 2004-2005.Now I intend to present, in brief, an overall significance of the proposals.

 

          36.          For the FY 2003-2004, we set a revenue target of 27,750 crore taka for Income Tax, Value Added Tax (VAT), Customs Duty and Other Taxes. As mentioned before, global instability and non-economic internal impediments have adversely affected the overall revenue collection of the country. Even then, the revenue collection in the fiscal year 2003-2004 will be about 17% more than that of fiscal year 2002-2003.The total  tax revenue target set for the next fiscal year 2004-2005 is 32,190 crore taka. Compared to the expected collection of revenue during 2003-2004, the target for 2004-2005 shows a growth of 19%. This is certainly a challenging target.

         

          Mr. Speaker,

                  

          37.          I have already mentioned, in the budget proposals, about the efforts that we made to increase the flow of internal resources. In the next fiscal year, internal resources will account for 53% of the total outlay of the Annual Development Programme (ADP). In future, we have to increase the proportion of our domestic resources in development financing in fulfillment of our election pledge to accelerate economic development. We have to implement the PRSP programme for poverty alleviation, develop human resources and increase efficiency in macro economic management for attaining Millennium Development Goal. Special care has been taken to ensure unhindered growth of agriculture and industry. While reducing the highest rate of customs duty, we are not imposing any new taxes. We therefore have adopted a strategy for expansion of tax base, simplification and rationalization of tax system, increased transparency and efficiency in revenue administration, creation of a Central Intelligence Cell in the NBR, decentralization of revenue administration, reduction of the discretionary powers of tax officials and increase in manpower to boost up revenue collection.  In conjunction with the efficient application of Information Technology (IT), effective steps for strengthening monitoring activities have been taken to prevent tax-evasion.   

 

         


          Mr. Speaker,

         

          38.          Although there is a possibility of decline in the import revenue owing to reduction of customs duty in the process of trade liberalization in consequent to the on-going globalization process, overall revenue earning will increase due to restructuring and rationalization of customs duty, supplementary and income tax rates, normal import growth and expansion of income tax and VAT net, and above all due to a number of administrative measures. Although the revenue target of 32,190 crore taka set for the next fiscal year is a challenging one, I am hopeful, it can be achieved with the rational restructuring of customs duty and other taxes, and reforms of tax administration and  management.

 

          Mr. Speaker,

 

          39. Shahid President Ziaur Rahman, during his tenure, started the works of building a prosperous and self-reliant Bangladesh. We have to make all-out efforts to accomplish the unfinished tasks left behind by him. The alliance government under the able and far-sighted leadership of the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Begum Khaleda Zia, has been working untiringly to attain that goal. Despite our having differences of opinion, we have the same cherished goal of national development and economic emancipation. In a country where the vast majority of people live in rural areas under the burden of poverty, generation of rural employment and alleviation of rural poverty is the driving philosophy of the country’s development strategy.  We shall have to devote ourselves, applying our wisdom, intellect and intrinsic worth, to the welfare of the common people of the country irrespective of our political affiliation. We have to devise our own development strategy and implement that by avoiding negative political activities, and preventing corruption, wastefulness and extravagance. It is my firm con-viction that we can build a modern and prosperous Bangladesh by our honesty, sacrifice and healthy politics, rising above personal interests and temporary political gains. Inspired by the democratic values and by showing respect and tolerance to others' opinion, let us work unitedly to raise the standard of life of the common people. Let Almighty Allah help us in our mission.

 

 

Allah Hafez

Bangladesh Zindabad


Annexe-`A'

 

 

Financial Year 2004-2005 and 2005-2006

Income tax rate for individual category of assessees

 

 

Sl no.

Proposed Slab

Propose Rate

(a)

On first Tk. 1,00,000/- of total income

Nil.

(b)

On next Tk. 2,00,000/- of total income

10%

(c)

On next Tk. 2,50,000/- of total income

15%

(d)

On next Tk. 3,50,000/- of total income

20%

(e)

On the balance of total income

25%

 

                    Minimum tax payable Tk. 1,500/-