Feb 22
Govt Chosen Easy Ways For Taxing Honest Taxpayers More PDF Print E-mail

By Apu Ahmed

When the Royal Bengal Tiger becomes old it relies on easy prey. It enters into nearby locality from its abode in the Sunderbans and kills livestock and even human being. The recent proposals in budget reflected the desperateness of the present government for generation of higher revenue in the penultimate year of its back-to-back five-year tenure. Much to the surprise of all and sundry the government has resorted easy ways to tax majority people instead of checking tax evaders and capital flight. Thus, the overall situation is no less comparable with the infamous act of the king of the Sunderbans.

Govt Takes Easy Routes

Octogenarian finance minister AMA Muhith announced a series of measure in his recent budget speech with those are linked to revenue generation from disheartened people. Noted economist Wahiuddin Mahmud summed up the revenue generation measures vividly and exposed pathetic situation of the government around the revenue administration. Historically, the revenue generated by the National Board of Revenue (NBR) did not grow by more than Tk 20,000 crore a year. But the proposed budget sets the goal at more than Tk 53,000 crore from the revised budget in the outgoing fiscal. ‘One main weakness of the country’s tax system is that instead of dealing with the difficult problem of tax evasion, the taxmen take the easy route of finding short-cuts and extracting more taxes from those who are already in the tax net, said Mahmud.

Easy Ways

Not only announced the uniform rate of VAT at 15 per cent against the demand for 12  Muhith also enhanced rates of wealth tax, which is in fact a surcharge on income tax, impose an excess burden on the existing taxpayers who diligently show their wealth, while tax dodgers and the earners of black money go scot-free.  The increase rates of excise duty on bank deposits, again, can hardly be justified by any sound tax policy, particularly when the interest rates on deposits remain extremely low. So, it can be easily interpreted that the economic policy makers are resorting to easy ways for taxing people because of weakness of the taxmen that has a link with the acceptability of the present government to majority population following the one-sided election in 2014 boycotted by major political parties. The government is desperate to generate higher revenue to highlight success ahead of the general election to be held before January 2019. Muhith might announce another budget but he would not get only six months to implement it. That is why he has chosen the present year for taxing people more although he did not announce any measure to check capital flight.