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The Financial Express

Customs authority advised to step up efforts to check money laundering

| Updated: January 27, 2022 09:20:54


Agriculture Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque, State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Choudhury, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) President Md Jashim Uddin, National Board of Revenue (NBR) Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem unveil the cover of a book on the sidelines of a seminar organised at a city hotel on Wednesday on the occasion of the International Customs Day-2022. — FE photo Agriculture Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque, State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Choudhury, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) President Md Jashim Uddin, National Board of Revenue (NBR) Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem unveil the cover of a book on the sidelines of a seminar organised at a city hotel on Wednesday on the occasion of the International Customs Day-2022. — FE photo

Agriculture Minister Dr Mohammad Abdur Razzaque said the customs authority should step up efforts to check money laundering done through under-and-over invoicing from the country.

"Although the scope of siphoning money by businesses has been minimised recently with digitisation, intensified efforts can help increase revenue collection," he said while speaking at a seminar organized on Wednesday marking International Customs Day-2022.

However, Economic Reporters Forum (ERF) along with some customs and VAT officials received World Customs Organization (WCO) Certificate of Merit at the programme.

The agriculture minister also said the outcomes of digitisation could be focused with the data and statistics to make its positive result visible.

Businesses laid emphasis on building confidence among customs and taxpayers to work in a participatory manner.

Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) president Md Jashim Uddin said the formation of any new law needs involvement of businesses to implement it successfully.

Diversification of export basket through extension of fiscal benefits is necessary to get prepared for graduation from LDC status, he added.

State minister for shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury said the tax payment culture gradually developed at grassroots level as people need tax related documents for participation in upazila or other elections.

National Board of Revenue (NBR) chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem said the government would ensure transparency through digitization of tax administration.

The country's tax-GDP ratio is below 9.0 per cent because of higher tax exemptions in different sectors, he added.

"We receive requests for tax exemptions and sometimes tax waiver is being declared in advance," he said, adding that tax exemption helps expedite industrial growth but the culture to enjoy tax waiver on a large scale should be phased out gradually.

NBR member Masud Sadiq (customs policy) presented a keynote paper at the programme.

Russell T Ahmed, president of Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), said local expertise has developed to handle hi-tech and digitise services. Already country's experts are providing such services to other countries, he said.

Shehzad Muneem, Managing Director of British-American Tobacco, Bangladesh (BATB), said it is necessary to build confidence between customs officials and businesses.

He, however, pledged to cooperate with the NBR as partner to digitise the customs wing.

Showkat Ali Saadi, commissioner, Md Abdul Hakim, additional commissioner, Md Fazlur Rahman, senior system analyst, joint commissioners Md Tofsir Uddin Bhuiyan and SM Shamsuzzaman, deputy commissioners Ayesha Akhtar, Rakibul Hassan, Md Khairul Alam, Kazi Rezaul Hassan, Samorjit Das, Sampriti Pramanik, Noor A Hasna Sanjida Onusua, Md Mahfuz Alam, assistant commissioner Md Mahbubul Alam, revenue officer Md Mazedul Islam, assistant revenue officer Md Mizanur Rahman, and Md Mozibur Rahman received WCO certificate of Merit.

Apart from ERF, Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) and Customs House, Benapole also received WCO certificate of Merit for their contributions to trade facilitation.

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