Tax exemption cripples revenue growth: NBR

National Board of Revenue Chairman Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said the tax exemptions and rebates in many industrial and service sectors has lowered the overall revenue collection in the just concluded financial year (2018-19), crippling the collection growth in the last five years. The revenue board chief on Wednesday came up with this comment while addressing a press brief at his office in the capital.

The exchequer in the fiscal 2018-19 could actually collect a total of Tk 2,23,892 crore, up 10.7 percent in comparison with the previous fiscal. The board registered same revenue collection growth in 2013-14 fiscal. In the fiscal 2017-18, the NBR registered 17.9 percent growth in collection, 11.7 percent in 2016-17, 13.2 percent in 2015-16, and 12.3 percent in the fiscal 2014-15.

Besides, the revenue collection growth in the 2013-14 fiscal was 10.7 percent. “We had to offer exemptions and rebates almost in all regimes, income tax, Value-added Tax, and customs in the last fiscal, lowering the overall collection and its growth,” Mosharraf Hossain said. “We had to offer VAT exemptions about Tk 15,192 crore from some pioneer sectors, including gas, internet, RMG, travel agency, and computer machinery,” he said.

Besides, there were several duty exemptions from some sectors, including capital machinery, baggage rules, mobile manufacturing, poultry, and relief goods, NBR chief added. Among the three revenue collection regimes, the VAT wing of NBR collected Tk 87,610 crore in the last fiscal, 39.1 percent of the overall outlay.

A total of Tk 72,899 crore was collected from income tax and all other direct taxes, 32.6 percent of the entire collection. Besides, the customs wing could collect Tk 63,382 crore in that fiscal, contributing 28.3 percent to the overall collection. “There are many people especially experts who criticize us but I want to let you all know that we are going ahead with very constructive and witty steps so that the revenue collection can increase in the coming years,” NBR chairman said.

“The VAT and Supplementary Duty Act-2012 has been enacted since the current fiscal that will make the VAT wing automated, increasing the revenue collection,” he added. “Besides, the customs wing has now been prompt than ever to ban the misuse of bond facility, ensuring more compliance and increasing the government’s revenue income,” he concluded.