Minister bets big on budget baits

Smuggled money be back, bourses to be bullish

Black money gathers in systemic holes: Kamal

| Updated: June 16, 2022 11:56:43

Smuggled money be back, bourses to be bullish

It is systemic fault that creates black money in Bangladesh, says Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal as he bets big on budget baits for repatriation of the siphoned-off funds.

"Whoever possesses land, homes, and apartments own black money. Because the government (system) is responsible for this," he observes.

He explains: lands are being registered at much lower prices compared to their real prices in Bangladesh. "You can't register them at actual price because rates are fixed for each mouza. Thus black money is created."

The finance minister laments that he tried to enhance mouza price of lands but failed.

"…the reality is a flat which is being registered at Tk 20 million has actual price of Tk 100 million," he told reporters Wednesday in a briefing.

Mr Kamal said due to this systemic fault the government is not getting actual stamp duty and registration fee, but subsequently black money is being created.

He was briefing newsmen after a virtual meeting of the cabinet committee on government procurement.

The minister hopes when the laundered money will return home, a portion of it will be invested in stocks and in various trades and industries.

The government kept the provision of bringing back the laundered money with this expectation.

In the proposed budget the government announced that Bangladeshi nationals having undisclosed money abroad can bring that back and legalise by paying 7.0-percent tax.

He expects that country's stock markets will definitely get a boost once the new budget implementation begins and a portion of laundered money is invested in there after comeback.

Since a new fiscal budget was announced in parliament on June 9, the stock markets have seen significant fall of indices as the investors found almost no announcement of facilities there which can help boost the markets.

Replying to a query Mr Kamal said the directives linked to share markets, given few weeks back to help their revival, would be implemented in time.

He noted that the new budget was placed recently and it would be implemented later, but, meantime, people would be able to know on which areas the facilities were given for stock-market revival. "There are many things on stock markets in the proposed budget."

The minister thinks the country's economy is doing ever so well and the growth is fine and all the macroeconomic indicators are in good position compared to the same worldwide. "These are positive sides (of our economy)."

He terms the ups and downs on the stock market "normal phenomenon". "The government wants stock market to perform well, as do I."

Regarding fund outflow from Bangladesh he said there are some foreign employees in apparel industry. "They were necessary to start the business at the very beginning."

Replying to another query the minister said he was not under pressure regarding the provision of bringing back smuggled money through amnesty. "I am not under pressure at all. I will do whatever I said. I do not come back halfway."

He goes on: "When I first introduced incentives to remitters, there were many criticisms that no money will come. But money came and created record, which is never ever possible in the future."

To another query on raising fuel-oil price in the country, the minister said a final decision on it has yet to be taken.

But he said the government's policy is to put pressure on people as less as possible. "When any product price goes extra high, a portion is being put on consumers and the rest is being borne by the government."

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