Dhaka, June 7 (UNB)-FBCCI President Md Jasim Uddin on Wednesday urged the government for policy support in the budget to extend import-alternative industry in the country to curtail import pressure on foreign exchange.
He made the statement in a post-budget discussion organised by Economic Reporters’ Forum (ERF) jointly with RAPID and Asia Foundation, held at the ERF auditorium in Dhaka on Wednesday. Planning Minister MA Mannan was present as the chief guest in the function.
He said Bangladesh manufactures many products, and industrial raw materials and exports them, which were imported earlier due to tax waivers and policy support. But in the proposed budget, there is no direction to reduce pressure on the dollar.
Massive import control initiatives will affect industrial production, he said adding that Bangladesh Bank’s move only to cut imports is not a solution for reducing stress on the dollar.
Also read: Budget ambitious but business-friendly: DCCI
Jasim blamed that banks are taking Tk114/115 per dollar from the traders and regretted that there is no institution to look into the matter.
He said in the proposed budget, the target of the 8th 5-year plan for increasing private investment and creating skilled manpower have no reflection.
Having energy and power at an affordable cost is the most important element to increase investment, he said.
But businessmen are not getting gas even after paying a higher rate of Tk30 per unit, he said. “This is not an investment friendly situation.”
The government built science and technology universities aiming to create skilled human resources as per the requirement of competitive industries, but those universities turn into general universities, the FBCCI president said.
The government is allocating funds for research in the budget, but businessmen do not know who and where research is happening, and research without connection with the industries would not bring any desired result, he said.
The FBCCI president also said that there is a task force consisting of FBCCI and NBR to discuss various problems and complaints, but they do not sit together.
“200 percent fine is levied for mistake in HS code on import of goods, 20 percent of which is received by tax officials, which increases the harassment of businesses,” he said.
He said the budget set a higher target for revenue collection, but there is absence of a detailed plan on where and how the revenue would be collected.
Apart from this, the FBCCI President said that increasing the capacity of NBR is very important.
He said that in digital Bangladesh, NBR should also be digitised and income tax and VAT should be collected digitally.
Dr Mohammand Abdur Razzaque, Chairman of Research and Policy Integration for Development (RAPID), professor of DU Abu Eusuf, Kazi Faisal Bin Seraj, Country representative Asia Foundation, BUILD CEO Ferdous Ara Begum, Shawkat Hossain Masum, head of online, Prothom Alo, among others, spoke at the function.
ERF president Mohammad Refayet Ullah Mirdha presided over and Secretary Abul Kashem moderated the program.