** People rescuing an injured passenger from inside a passenger bus hit by a truck on Dhaka-Mawa Expressway in Shologhar area of Shreenagar upazila in Munshiganj on Thursday. ** Motorcycles allowed on Padma Bridge after 10 months ** Commuters charge extra fare, passengers disappointed ** 78 people killed in Yemen stampede ** Moon sighting committee meets today to ascertain Eid day ** 9 killed in road accidents in 3 districts ** US announces new $325 m military aid package for Ukraine ** Eid-ul-Fitr in Saudi Arabia today ** Eid exodus begins ** LPG price cut illusive ** 15 hurt as bus overturns in capital ** New interbank cheque clearing timings set for Eid holidays ** Four women hit by a train die in Tangail ** 12.28 lakh SIM users left Dhaka on Tuesday ** Sylhet engineer threatened over power outage ** People rush to village homes to spend Eid holidays with their near and dear ones. This photo was taken from Sadarghat Launch Terminal on Tuesday. NN photo ** Surge in cases of dehydration, diarrhoea amid summer heat wave ** Padma Bridge construction cost increases by Tk 2,412cr ** PM gives Tk 90m to Bangabazar fire victims ** Textile workers block highway demanding wage, Eid bonus ** Attack on PM's motorcade Ex-BNP MP, 3 others get life term ** Load-shedding increases for demand of electricity during heat wave ** Motorbikes to be allowed on Padma bridge from Thursday ** 5-day Eid vacation begins from today ** Take Nangalkot train accident as a warning about negligence of govt functionaries **
Govt accused of favouring multi-nat'l cos

“Stop VAT expansion to essential goods”

04 May 2014

Staff Reporter :
EquityBD and several other right-based organisations have accused the government of favouring the multi-national companies in evading tax, with call not to bring essential goods under the value added tax (VAT) because it will affect the poor people only.
These were the demands at a rally held in front of the National Press Club in the city on Saturday. Mostafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD conducted the rally while Dr Mejbah Uddin of Jatiya Sramik Jote, Badrul Alam of Bangladesh Krishak Federation, Subol Das of Bangladesh Bhumihin Samity, Syed Aminul Haque and Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD spoke on the occasion.
Representatives from other organisations also took part in the programme. The rally followed a human chain organised by EquityBD and several other organisations.
The speakers said that the government was planning to bring essential goods under VAT, as per the prescription of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). They said, VAT as indirect tax earns 70 percent of the national revenue, which the poor pay; while the rest 30 percent as direct tax is realised from the rich and the multi-national companies.
Average VAT rate in Bangladesh is 15 percent, which is the highest in the world, meaning that a mid-level company like 'Quasem Dry Cell' is the highest VAT paying company in Bangladesh. In contrast, the big companies like the Grameen Phone', the British American Tobacco' and the Unilever' pay tax lesser than a mid-level company. It is surely regretful. Then are the companies dodging tax? They questioned.
They urged the government to stop the plan of expanding VAT in the next budget. "No VAT on essential goods, like rice, pulse and cooking Oil will be an welcome news", opined the speakers.  
Dr Mejbah Uddin said that the government has responded to the IMF prescription of expanding VAT in the next budget. It is shameful. "The IMF always favours the multi-national companies, which dodge taxes through the loophole of tax rules.
Syed Aminul Haque said, if the government takes strategy for poverty alleviation, it can't support VAT expansion because it  affects the poor.
Rezaul Karim Chowdhury said that the government was enhancing its revenue expenditure without any justification. "Government must consider justice in fiscal policies," he said.

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