VAT collection Restaurant owners raise allegation of harassment

13 June 2021

Staff Reporter :
The leaders of the Bangladesh Restaurant Owners' Association (BROA) on Saturday alleged that they are facing harassment by the third-party VAT collectors across the country.
Imran Hasan, Secretary General of the BROA, made the allegation while speaking in a press briefing at its head office in the city.
He said, "The owners of the restaurants that have Electronic Fiscal Device (EFD) machine provided by the revenue board are mostly facing harassment as some young locals in the name of VAT collection."
"The young locals, neither officials of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) nor selected by ward councilor offices, are blackmailing against these restaurants that the owners are not using EFD machines, but facts are different," Imran said.
He further said, "The NBR has failed to install EFD machines at over 75 per cent restaurants across the country. Resulted, the owners, using the EFD machine, are facing business loss as the prices of the restaurants are comparatively high."
"So, the authority should set up EFD machines in all the restaurants. Otherwise, it should stop VAT collection through EFD machines," he added.    
 He also demanded reduction of Value-Added Tax (VAT) for moderate, lower categories and fine-dining restaurants to flourish the sector and recognition of the sector as an industry due to the hotel-restaurants is the main tools of the tourism industry.
"The proposed budget for 2021-22 FY has imposed 15 per cent VAT for AC and five per cent for non-AC restaurants. But, we demand maximum 3 to 5 per cent for lower, moderate categories restaurants and street food and 7.5 per cent VAT for fine-dining restaurant," he said.
He further said, "Earlier, the non-AC restaurants had to pay 7.5 per cent VAT. But, categorization of the AC and non-AC should be abolished as AC is a general necessity now a days."
Besides, the association proposed two per cent VAT for the canteen or cafeteria of educational institutions, hostels and industrial factories and 3 per cent VAT on restaurants' rent.
The other demands are cancelation of 10 per cent supplementary duty, formulation of policy for online food delivery services and determine maximum 10 per cent commission, announcement of stimulus for workers of the sector or monthly food assistance, loan for owners at four per cent interest rate and ensuring vaccination for staff within September this year.      
The country has around 60,000 restaurants and about 30 lakh people are employed in the sector, according to the BROA.
BROA's President Osman Gani, First Joint Secretary Firoz Alam Sumon, Treasurer Toufiqul Islam, Organizing Secretary Syed Mohammad Andalib, Publicity Secretary Ashfaq Rahman Asif and Chief Adviser Khandaker Ruhul Amin, among others, were present in the event.

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