Demand for reconsidering VAT Act 2012

Speakers at a seminar have asked the government to reconsider the VAT Act 2012 as the poor in general are being forced to pay VAT and taxes upon every item they buy from the market.

They underscored the need for introducing a poor-friendly tax system for internal resource mobilisation instead of imposing the VAT Act as a part of implementing the conditions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

VAT is regressive, especially for the poor, and so direct taxes should be prioritised in order to maximise the country’s internal resource, they said while addressing a seminar titled “Internal Resource Collection and Reviewing VAT Act 2012” held in Chittagong Press Club in Chittagong on Saturday, according to a press release received here on Monday.

Jointly organised by Shangshaptak, Nawjowan and EquityBD, the objective of the seminar was to gather citizens’ opinions on the VAT Act 2012 and build up a progressive tax system for the country for patronising a balanced economic and social development in the future.

The speakers said the government has enacted the VAT Act 2012 as the prescription of IMF to impose VAT on all sorts of commodities and services to increase the opportunity of resource mobilisation.

The government must focus on the internal resource mobiliation for the economic development but the strategy of the tax collection management should press less pressure on the poor people. The economists would agree that a progressive tax system is more useful than a regressive one.

The speakers also criticised the IMF for pressurising the government to impose a discriminative tax system on the people of Bangladesh.

Moderated by Chittagong Bureau Chief of the Daily Banik Barta Ali Haidar, the seminar was addressed, among others, by City Editor of the Daily Suprobhat M Nasirul Huq, former MP Mazharul Huq, Public Prosecutor of Chittagong Advocate MA Hashem, president of Trade Union Kendra Tapan Dutta, Councillors of Chittagong City Corporation Anjuman Ara and Abida Azad.UNB

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