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Restore good governance, discipline banking sector

Bring swindlers under book; cut corporate tax on apparel industries : EAB

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Special Correspondent :
The Exporters Association of Bangladesh (EAB) on Sunday urged the government to restore good governance and discipline the banking sector to check the wholesale plundering of bank money by corrupt people.
"Unabated swindling of money from banks has created indiscipline in the whole banking., sector. The swindlers should be brought under justice through proper inquiry and investigation. Prompt trial and visible punishment of those involved in bank scams and irregularities are necessary to restore good governance and discipline in the banking sector," said EAB President Abdus Salam Murshedy in a statement giving formal reaction on the proposed budget.
 He observed incidents of big loan scams are taking place due to the prevailing culture of impunity. "It has been working as incentive for those involved in the swindling bank money and encouraging them to repeat the incidents."
Salam Murshedy further said loans scams have created liquidity mismatch in banks and it is badly affecting private sector investment
On proposed 7.8 growth rate he said, "To achieve such a high growth, we must increase private 
 sector investment. Private entrepreneurs usually borrow capital from banks and then use it for production. If banks fail to supply the much needed capital due to liquidity shortfall growth will suffer. So, maintaining discipline in banking sector is crucial to pick up private investment to support the growth," he noted.     
Terming the proposed budget as 'expansionary," the EAB president said the budget has both opportunity and challenge.
"The implementation of the budget will largely depend on the dynamism of the public agencies and revenue administration," he said, adding, "The main challenge lies with deficit financing and achieving the revenue collection target."
He said the proposed budget has projected a 7.8 per cent GDP growth for the next fiscal and achieving the target will be challenging unless private sector investment is not pick up.
"The budget has proposed a number of measures to create an environment of rapid industrialization. The government has made sufficient budgetary allocation in power and energy, physical and social infrastructure sectors and mega projects to support industrialization and growth," he observed.
However, he said, the budget has proposed to increase corporate tax and tax at source on apparel sector which would be detrimental for the industry and investment.
"The increment of corporate tax and tax at source for apparel sector is not business friendly and conflicting with the expansion of business, which will cast shadow on achieving 7.8 per cent GDP growth in the next fiscal," he added.
Murshedy has urged the government to set tax at source at 0.25 per cent instead of 1.0 per cent (to be effective automatically from July 1 as per an NBR SRO) for the next five years and corporate tax rate at 10 percent from 15 per cent for the interest of the sector.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Thursday proposed to raise the corporate tax for apparel industries to 15 per cent from 12 per cent for the next fiscal year.
The EAB leader also demanded a five per cent cash incentive for export-oriented apparel industries on their total export value for the next two years considering the challenges of the industry and encourage the industry people.
"Employment generation is needed to increase production capacity. To create jobs, investment is a must. But some measures in the proposed budget would affect investment," said Murshedy.

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