The National Board of Revenue (NBR) chairman Dr Nasiruddin
Ahmed Sunday urged businesses to present budget proposals focusing on reduction
of taxes instead of seeking tax exemptions.
"We have to devise mechanism to raise domestic tax
collection on priority basis. Dependence on foreign aid will be minimised if we
can increase revenue collection," he said.
He requested the stakeholders to consider the revenue
impact of the proposals for inclusion in the national budget 2010-2011.
The NBR chief made this request in the first pre-budget
meeting with the stakeholders in agriculture sector at NBR premises.
Dr Ahmed said revenue collection is the first priority of
the revenue board while encouraging more investment is second.
Pre-budget proposals should be prepared focusing on
overall economic growth, he said.
"We will scrutinise all proposals prioritising
protection of domestic industries and development of the agriculture
sector," he said.
In the pre-budget discussion, Bangladesh Agro-processing
Association (BAPA) has placed three separate proposals for income tax, value
added tax (VAT) and customs department.
It has proposed tax holiday facility for seven
agro-processing industries that include-automatic rice mills, snacks, tomato
pulp (paste sauce, ketchup), juice, powdered spices, pickles (tamarind, olive,
lemon), pulses processing industries, puffed and flattened rice, and mustered
The association also sought continuation of tax holiday
facility for 2010-2015 period for agricultural industries.
"The agriculture sector has been facing uneven
competition in the international market due to withdrawal of tax holiday
facility in 2008," the BAPA proposal said.
It has sought tax exemption from export earning of
agro-processing industries, waiver of 3.0 per cent customs duty on capital
machinery import of the industries, reduction of tariff value to Tk 53 per
kilogram powdered milk from existing Tk 100, waiver of VAT at business stage
for some essential commodities.
BAPA also proposed to set tariff value instead of 15 per
cent VAT on production stage of pickles, sauce, pulses, nuts, chanachur