TIN for Electricity Connection

Power Division seeks withdrawal of proposal

Power Division has sent a letter to the Finance Ministry seeking withdrawal of its proposal to make tax identification number (TIN) mandatory for new electricity connection. State minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid sent the letter on Monday, power division official said.
Mentionable, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal in the FY20 budget has proposed making e-TIN-TIN mandatory for obtaining or maintaining power connection for all types of consumers, including residential and commercial, in city corporations, cantonment board and municipalities across the country. Earlier e-TIN was mandatory only for commercial power connections.

The proposal aims to widen the tax net in an effort to prop up the revenue collection, but the power division feels, the new provision will create a major problem for the low-income group to get power connections. It was said in the letter, as per the election manifesto the government has a target to supply electricity to every house by 2021. Already 93 percent people is now under electricity coverage. Currently the number of electricity user are 3.34 crore in the country, of which 2.64 crore are under Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB) including 1.20 crore lifeline users. 

The lifeline users are very poor and most of them are day laborers as they usually consume electricity below 50 units per month. They will face trouble in getting TIN and it will be inhuman. Besides, it is mandatory to submit income tax return every year for TIN holder. The power division believes that it will harassment for the poor people, also waste of time and financially damaged.

In this situation, the state minister urged specially to withdraw the proposal of TIN for new electricity connection. State Minister Nasrul Hamid called upon the finance minister not to make the Tax Identification Number (TIN) mandatory for all electricity consumers for payment of their bills. He made the call during budget session for fiscal 2019-2020 at the national parliament on Sunday.

Currently, for a residential connection, a consumer has to submit copies of national id or passport, deed of land, fire service clearance in case of over a 10-storey building, construction clearance from authorities in case of city corporations or municipalities. For commercial and industrial connections, clearances from the environment department and fire service are required along with the above-mentioned documents.

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has recently decided to bring all electric holding meter possessors in the city areas under the tax net to ensure tax compliance and increase revenue collection. As part of the move, NBR will make the Tax Identification Number (TIN) mandatory for getting this utility service in City Corporation and Municipal areas from the upcoming fiscal year.