Finding a balance between achieving revenue targets and ensuring a business-friendly environment is crucial to overcome the economic challenges unfolded by the pandemic.
The government's expenditure comes from revenue, but it always tries to facilitate the businesses, National Board of Revenue member of tax policy Md Alamgir Hossain said Saturday.
Alamgir was addressing the "Pre-Budget Discussion for FY2021-22" organised by Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) in association with Samakal and Channel 24.
Economic Affairs Adviser to the Prime Minister Dr Mashiur Rahma said "Achieving the revenue target without hurting economic activities is a priority for the government."
"However, our tax-GDP ratio is comparatively low due to rebates at different levels. To make it more acceptable to everyone, a global standard tax, value added tax (VAT), supplementary duty (SD) and customs duty rate need to be in place."
Dr Mashiur said frequent changes in tax rate may slow down business growth and he suggested a gradual increase in it with a minimum time frame.
Brac Chairperson Dr Hossain Zilllur Rahman said, "As the second wave of Covid-19 is going on, it may wallop the economy. The next budget should also have a plan of recovery like the last one. Social protection should get major attention in it."
Disbursement of loans under stimulus for the cottage, micro, small and medium enterprises (CMSMEs) should be faster, and for that, mobile financial services can be engaged as a delivery vehicle, he added.
Zilllur Rahman added that to keep the growth trajectory upward, the domestic market needs to be incentivised along with the export sector. "We need a transition from cheap labour economy to skilled labour economy and a game-changing policy review needs to be framed."
DCCI President Rizwan Rahman hoped that the next budget would have special attention to taxation and VAT policy, infrastructure, industry and trade as well as the financial sector.