Corona Crisis: BNP demands halting utility bills, taxes

Dhaka, June 25 – BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Thursday said the government is putting pressure on people to pay various taxes and utility bills at a time when it should put those on hold.“Electricity bills, income tax, advance income tax, municipal tax and other taxes should be stopped at this difficult time as it has now become impossible for people to pay that,” he said.
Speaking at a virtual press conference, the BNP leader voiced concern saying, “These taxes and bills are now being imposed on people and they’re being forced to pay that.’
Even at this tough time of coronavirus, Fakhrul said, ghost electricity bills are being prepared to collect additional money from people. “A bill of Tk 5,000-6,000 is being inflated to Tk 35,000-40,000. We strongly condemn it.”
He demanded the government immediately halt the collection of these bills for the time being and revise the unusually inflated bills.
About the corona situation, the BNP leader said their party leaders and activists have continued their financial and food assistance to the needy people.
He claimed that their party and its different associate bodies have provided financial assistance and food items to 54,12, 416 families across the country from March 20 to June 24 last.
Fakhrul also claimed that around 2,16,49, 084 people have got benefited from their party’s relief activities.
Besides, he said, different pro-BNP organisations, including Doctors’ Association of Bangladesh-DAB, Ziaur Rahman Foundation, have also distributed several lakh masks, sanitisers, soaps and PPEs.
The BNP leader bemoaned that many virtuous and talented people have succumbed to the coronavirus in the country. “We know it is not possible for the government alone to get out of this situation. They (govt) could not show the sincerity that is needed to deal with the dangerous corona situation. They didn’t play the role they were supposed to do.”
Replying to a question, Fakhrul said they have taken all the necessary measures to protect their party chairperson Khaleda Zia from corona infection. “She’s safe from corona.”
He, however, said there is no improvement in her illness as she now cannot receive necessary treatment due to the coronavirus situation. – UNB