The Financial Express

‘Black money’ goes against fairness, economic principles

| Updated: May 18, 2021 12:59:28

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Business leaders and academicians on Sunday said that legalising undisclosed income or black money is against economic principles as well as politically detrimental to the country's citizens and fair business.

They said such provision under the budgetary framework must not continue for long and year after year.

Speaking at a webinar, the distinguished speakers also questioned if allowed why such money is not invested in the necessary areas like healthcare or industries, instead of real estate or capital market.

They were talking at the virtual briefing on the national budget, organised by the Citizen's Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh.

They also said the media, social workers, citizen platforms, civil society organisations and businesses should raise voice against the provision of whitening black money in the budget.

Replying to a question, Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Distinguished Fellow Dr Debapriya Bhattachariya said no question on whitening black money in the budget encouraged such a trend in the country.

He said the whitening of black money occurred in large volume this year as smuggling undisclosed income had become difficult in recent times.

He also termed such provision unconstitutional.

CPD Distinguished Fellow Professor Mustafizur Rahman said money whitening provision comes in different countries on special occasions.

"But in Bangladesh, such provision is coming again and again," he added.

Chairman of Landmark Footwear Syed Nasim Manzur said if the money came through illegal means, there should not be any way of legalising them.

Itis a moral hazard and sends wrong signals to fair businesses, he said.

"What wrong did we do by paying 30 to 35 per cent tax? Such provision (money whitening) sends us a signal that 'don't pay tax and next year legalise money by paying only 10 per cent tax'," he said.

Asif Ibrahim,former president of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said this black money whitening should not be allowed for long.

He said this should not be a norm and should not come every year in the budget.

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