MCCI for raising EDF to $10 bln to achieve $80 bln export target

Published : 19 Jun 2022 08:51 PM

To achieve the $80 billion export target, the export development fund (EDF) should be lifted to at least $10 billion and be made accessible to all exporters, the leaders of the metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (MCCI) opined on Sunday.  

They observed that it is still seen that many eligible organizations remaining outside the purview of tax, because of which taxpaying businesses are being burdened with more and more taxes.

The remarks were made in during the MCCI-PRI Post Budget Discussion titled “Bangladesh from Vulnerability to Resilience and Rapid Inclusive Development”, held at the MCCI conference room, matijheel in the capital

MCCI leaders believed that  this should be addressed soon. Finally, the Chamber will be happy to see crypto assets being allowed for investment as those will create more jobs in the country.

Planning Minister M.A. Mannan attended the discussion as chief guest  while Dr. Shamsul Alam, Minister of State, Ministry of Planning, Dr. Zaidi Sattar, Chairman, PRI spoke on the occasion.

MCCI President, Md. Saiful Islam moderated the discussion.

In a written handout, MCCI President made a few suggestions that include  the minimum turnover tax should be removed, as that leads to double taxation, services such as construction, infrastructure, etc., which generate employment, should have their tax-deducted-at-source (TDS) rates reduced. 

This TDS could be maintained at the TDS level of supply of goods in the current circumstances. As per the Export Policy 2021-2024, the export target being considered for FY24 is $80 billion, yet the current export development fund (EDF) level is only $7.5 billion.

MCCI lauded the government for its commitment to create employment, as was reflected in the proposed budget. Not only are the Government's regular efforts to create employment very focused, SGDs and Vision 2031 & 2041 are also aligned to create further employment.

“As business entities, we are also happy to see the Government lowering the corporate tax rate for both listed and non-listed companies, although the conditions set for these lower rates may be difficult to meet for most businesses. The Government has taken the prudent decision to lower the rates of tax-deduction-at-source (TDS) in some cases and has also increased the perquisite threshold”, he added.

He mentioned that the allocation of social safety nets is one such area. Yes, there has been an increase in the allocation from Tk. 1,07,614 crore in FY22 to Tk. 1,13,576 crore considering the twin affects of the Russia-Ukraine war and the pandemic. 

Moreover, natural disasters such as floods which we are going through right now will also be another challenge for the country. Hence, we are suggesting to increase the social safety net budget from the current level to a reasonable amount. Secondly, the personal income tax thresholds have remained unaddressed, which we thought should have been subject to changes, especially with the tax-free threshold. 

Considering the increase in per capita Income to USD 2,824, we believe the personal income tax threshold should be increased to taka 400,000. 

MCCI would have preferred some suggestions for the structural reforms of the VAT Law and their incorporation into the main VAT Law, 2012, as the Chamber had been asking for it since long. 

“As we march towards the developing country's status in 2026, allocating funds in the right areas and improving the revenue generation will become even more important. The proposed national budget for FY23 deserves a detailed discussion”, Saiful Islam added.