A NEWS report in the Saturday issue of this newspaper said that NBR has planned to initiate a fresh drive to collect more income tax from foreign nationals working in Bangladesh. The NBR decision is no doubt a big way to boost the exchequer of the country, and in principle a good one. In line with this, we record our concern about the loopholes that the foreigners are taking to reside here illegally and earn without prior legal work permit or employment contact and thus dodging tax in an unholy nexus with employer, banks and travel agencies, NBR officials, Board of Investment Authority, Financial Intelligence unit of Bangladesh Bank, Department of Immigration and finally with the officials of the law enforcing agencies especially special branch of the police. Therefore, we are skeptical enough that how much NBR will gain the success in driving its efforts to fetch revenue from foreign nationals. According to available data, more than five lakh foreigners, mostly Indians; are now working in the country illegally and the number is only increasing taking advantage of lack of vigilance by the law enforcers and other regulatory bodies. This exponentially high figure is quoted by different agencies against a paltry figure of 12,000 in the official registers. Reports said foreigners enter the country as tourist and then take jobs overnight without work permits with the help of their friends and fellow countrymen already working in factories, mainly in the RMG and IT plants. Most foreigners enter here with visit visa for six months and manage job with high remuneration. Though they return to the home country at periodic intervals, they come back by another visit visa for another six months and thus playing a tricky practice in association with some corrupt elements. In some cases, illegal foreigners destroy passports and manage jobs in VoIP business, buying houses, shipbuilding, IT services, NGOs and so on. They mostly come from India, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Cameroon, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and such other nations. A report mentioned about scores of illegal immigrants from the Indian states of West Bengal, Meghalaya, Assam, Tripura and Mizoram who have entered Bangladesh and joined the job market. A Bangalore based magazine disclosed that expatriate Indians working in Bangladesh had successfully drained away $ 3,716 million alone last year as half a million Indians are now working in Bangladesh; mostly in the readymade garment industry and in NGOs’. Indian workers are often blamed for unrest in the garment sector while foreigners from African countries are running drug and currency trafficking. Expatriates from Pakistan and Sri Lanka are also blamed for currency and drug trafficking. They are not paying tax and moreover laundering over $ 4 billion a year; of which alone 3.7 billion is reportedly going to India. Therefore, it is evident that regulator’s indifference to this regard is otherwise harming the interest of the state and may hamper the NBR’s fresh efforts to widening tax net. If NBR really wants to bring these foreign workers under tax net, then it must stop all shades of corruption first and take the job seriously.