Kamal hopeful of achieving fiscal target of revenue collection

DHAKA, Feb 7, 2019 : Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal today expressed his hope for achieving the revenue collection target by the National Board of Revenue (NBR) in the current fiscal year through boosting a win-win situation with the private sector.

“Our revenue board is working to materialize a Tk 2,96,201 crore target in the current fiscal year and I believe we’ll be able to attain that target in full scale the way we have attained in the past,” he told reporters.

The Finance Minister was briefing reporters after holding a meeting with the leaders of top trade bodies and business leaders at the NEC Conference Room in city’s Sher-e-Bangla Bangla Nagar area.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s adviser on private industry and investment Salman F Rahman, Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir, The National Board of Revenue (NBR) Chairman Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, Finance Division Secretary Abdur Rouf Talukder, Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development
Authority (BIDA) Kazi Aminul Islam, FBCCI President Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin and business leaders of various trade bodies and associations attended the meeting.

Mentioning that the aim of the present government is to boost revenue collection without putting added pressure and without harassing others, Mustafa Kamal said that the demand of the government has increased a lot and it will increase day by day.

“We’ve no other alternative in this regard except boosting the revenue collection …. we’ve assured the private sector and the businessmen that we’ll address their issues and problems, but they would also have to help us in fulfilling our revenue target,” he added.

The Finance Minister said they held the meeting to forge a win-win
situation between the public and the private sector adding that the meeting was very much fruitful and successful.

He said that they have taken note of the problems and issues raised by the private sector and assured them of accommodating those.

Kamal said that the government would adopt a bottom-up approach for collecting revenue as the NBR in the coming days would work out a plan and thus inform the Ministry as to how much they would be able to collect revenue in a year.

“For that we’ll enhance the manpower of NBR and provide necessary equipments ……we’ll set up revenue offices in all the 492 upazilas and collect VAT through providing machines,” he added.

He said that the revenue growth over the last 10 years witnessed 19
percent growth on average.

Asked about the recent decision for easing write off rules to reduce loan defaulters, he said that write off is a part of the system itself and it should continue. “Many countries in the world like India and Malaysia do such practice ……I reiterate my stance that the honest businessmen will get facilities while the dishonest businessmen won’t get it.”

The Finance Minister said he would stick to his earlier decision that the Non Performing Loan (NPL) would not increase further. “We’ll surely reduce that otherwise the banking sector will be weakened,” he added.

When asked about the ease of doing business, he said that the government is trying hard to address the deviations towards improving the ease of doing business.

The Finance Minister said that during the meeting the business leaders highlighted a couple of issues before him like high bank interest rates, high tax rates and rising trend of NPL, some issues related to customs and VAT, capital market as well as some sector-based problems in steel, cement, leather, jute, ICT and the pharmaceuticals sector.

“They (business leaders) have highlighted their issues and problems in a justified way and I have assured them of looking into their matter,” added Kamal.

Stressing the importance of the private sector, which accounts for 80 to 82 percent of the country’s economy, he said there is no alternative to it to move the country forward.

Mentioning that there are some challenges before the private sector in the coming days, Kamal said that they want to face these challenges with iron hand while the country would move forward with the united efforts of all.

He also underscored the need for bringing in newer ideas to address the contemporary demands of the country.

Salman F Rahman said the country has attained unimaginable successes over the last 10 years under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

“The Prime Minister has already said that we’ll have to go to the next level. But, it will be a bit tough to go to the next level. The private sector is the main driving force towards the country’s development,” he added.