Businesses welcome proposed budget

Syful Islam | Published: June 14, 2019 09:58:45 | Updated: June 14, 2019 17:35:10

Picture used for illustrative purpose only — Collected

Country's business community hailed the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2019-20 which was placed in parliament on Thursday.

In their instant reaction the business leaders termed the proposed budget time-befitting and business-friendly.

The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) termed the proposed budget time-befitting as the annual outlay focused on employment generation, poverty alleviation, and human resource development.

In his instant reaction DCCI President Osama Taseer, however, emphasised attaining the capacity and raising skills for implementation of such a big budget.

The DCCI also found the targeted revenue earning as a big challenge for the National Board of Revenue (NBR).

It said the government set a target to borrow Tk 473 billion from the banking system to meet a part of the budget deficit. The DCCI cautioned the government on its bank borrowing pattern to help avoid any barrier to the credit flow to the private sector.

The DCCI also welcomed the move to implement new Value Added Tax (VAT) Act in the next budget and expressed hope that the new act would help expand trade and commerce.

However, the trade body warned that unless input tax credit is available under the new act, consumers will have to bear the burden of additional VAT. Due to the additional VAT the prices of goods will rise at the consumers' end raising the inflation rate.

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) in its reaction hailed the proposed budget which gave priority to many new sectors going against the tradition.

President of the Bangladesh Chamber of Industries (BCI) Anwar-Ul-Alam Chowdhury (Parvez) in his reaction hailed the finance minister for creating a special fund of Tk 1.0 billion for young entrepreneurs, for offering 5.0 per cent tax rebate for companies which employ the disabled and formation of a national human resource development fund.

Talking to the FE, Exporters Association of Bangladesh (EAB) president Abdus Salam Murshedy MP termed the proposed budget as pro-people and pro-business.

"The proposed budget will help continue ongoing development activities," he said.

Former DCCI president Abul Kasem Khan said in the budget the finance minister uttered strong warning against wilful loan defaulters, merger of sick companies, steps to lower non-performing loans, and raising authorised capitals of banks which are appreciable.

He said bringing down interest rates of bank loans to the single digit level will be a difficult task.

Mr Khan also hailed the proposed steps like alternative funding source for long term investment, and expansion of the tax net to 10 million.

In her instant reaction, chief executive of BUILD Ferdaus Ara Begum said income tax-exempted turnover threshold is proposed to be raised to Tk 5.0 million from Tk 3.6 million which will encourage small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to go for further growth.

She, however, questioned rationality of the big revenue collection target through the NBR. She emphasised the need for proper steps on implementation of the Annual Development Programme and the target of borrowing Tk 0.47 trillion from banks when the "banks are not good in a good "position."

The Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB) in its budget reaction thanked the government for lowering the registration fee and stamp fee for the housing sector.

The steps will help tide over the ongoing sluggishness in the housing sector, said acting REHAB president Liakat Ali Bhuiyan in a statement.



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