Black Money: No tangible result, yet gets patting

Despite criticisms by various quarters, the government wants to continue with the provision allowing undisclosed money in some specific areas in addition to buying plots and flats.“The current regulatory regime stipulates that such undisclosed income can be invested by paying extra 10 percent tax together with applicable tax rates which may come around to 2.5 percent of income,” Finance Minister AMA Muhith said in his budget speech in Parliament on Thursday.
Muhith, however, did not make it clear whether the undisclosed money will be invested in buying plots and flats with or without extra tax saying ‘considering the difficult period experienced last year, we’ve allowed special facilities for investing in plots or flats.’
Besides, Muhith said, the government has enhanced the tax rebate facilities for investment by firms or individuals to a large extent. “For example, 15 percent tax rebate will be allowed for investment of 30 percent income.”
The Finance Minister admitted that the government extended a number of facilities for investment of undisclosed income which did not yield any tangible outcome.
Leaders of Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB) have said the decision to allow undisclosed money in the housing sector will help bring back vibrancy in the sector though the experts are opposing it saying it will be unethical.
“Surely, it’ll help make the sector vibrant again. It’ll help generate more revenue and thus play an important role in the economy,” General Secretary of the REHAB M Wahiduzzaman told UNB on Wednesday.
About TIB’s stance against black money whitening and economists’ opposition to it, he said, “There’re many people to say like that. But you need to think of how the economy will be benefited.”
Meanwhile, the Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has said the government’s plan to allow whitening of black money in the housing sector is discriminatory and it goes against the Constitution as it will send out a message of ‘immorality’ in society.
“If the government allows black money in the next budget in the housing sector, it’ll be discriminatory and it’s in no way acceptable. It’s constitutionally illegal and ethically unacceptable,” TIB executive director Dr Iftekharuzzaman told UNB recently.
Leading economists have always been opposing black money whitening options saying it does not bring any benefit to the economy. (Source: UNB)

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