125 highest taxpayers to get national tax cards

The cabinet today approved the draft of "The National Tax Card Policy, 2010 (Amendment)" increasing the number of national tax cards to 125 from existing 20.

"The new policy has proposed to raise the number of national tax cards to 125 from existing 20," Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam told reporters after the regular weekly meeting of the cabinet today. He said the cards would be provided to highest individual and company taxpayers to establish a 'revenue-friendly culture' at all levels of state.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presided over the meeting held at Bangladesh Secretariat.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, the cabinet secretary said under the existing policy, a total of 20 highest tax payers --10 in individual category and 10 in company category - were so far being awarded the national tax cards every year.

Alam said according to the new decision the highest tax payers at individual level would get 64, the companies would 50 and the rest 11 would be earmarked for others.

Among the individual category, he said, five senior citizens, five war-wounded freedom fighters, two disabled persons, five women and three young tax payers would get national taxpayers cards in special class.

The cabinet secretary said in the source of income, five businessmen, five salary recipients, five physicians, three journalists, three lawyers, three engineers, two architects, two accountants, seven new taxpayers, two players, two actors and actresses, two artistes and singers and three others would be awarded the national tax cards.

Under the company category, he said, four banks, four non-banks, one telecom company, three engineering firms, three food and relevant companies, three energy companies, three jute companies, five spinning companies, four pharmaceutical firms, four print and electronic houses, three real estate companies, seven RMG industries, two leather industries and four others would receive the national tax cards.

In other category, four firms, one local authority and two individual bodies will be awarded the national tax cards, the cabinet secretary said.

Alam said the cabinet, however, gave the authority to the finance minister to raise the number of national tax cards, if necessary, after consultation with the NBR in this regard.

Alam said the cabinet also gave the final approval to the draft of the "The Bangladesh Wheat and Maize Research Institute Law, 2016" in a bid to formulate and implement the policies on development and production of wheat and maize.

He said the institute would formulate and implement policies on development and production of wheat and maize as well as conduct basic and applied research activities to this end.

"The Institute will also formulate action plan for itself and set up research laboratory, farms and infrastructures with modern facilities to boost wheat and maize production," he said.

Besides, Alam said, the Institute would collect and preserve Germ Plasm as well as provide necessary information to farmers to produce wheat and maize efficiently and impart them proper training for the purpose.

The Cabinet Secretary said, the Institute would also play a role to face adverse impact of climate change on production of wheat and maize as well as to protect rights of intellectual Property on these. About the Administrative structure of the Institute, Alam said, there would be a board to be headed by the Chairman while the government appointed Director General of the Institute would act as the Chairman.

Among the members of the board one would come from finance ministry, one from agriculture ministry, two scientists from the Institute itself, two scientists to be appointed by the government, two representatives engaged in the agriculture-related work and a representative from the Bangladesh Cotton Development Board.

The Chairman of the board would also act as the chief of the Institute while the Board would sit in meeting thrice in a year and the quorum of the meeting would be fulfilled with attendance of at least 50 percent of its members.

Alam said the cabinet also gave final approval to the draft of "The Bangladesh Jute Research Institute Law, 2016" aiming to increase the capacity of the institute alongside streamlining its research activities.

He said that the draft was prepared translating the previous Bangladesh Jute Research Institute Act 1974 into Bangla adding that it also has provisions to set up more branches in other parts of the country if necessary.

Alam said the Jute Research Institute would formulate and approve detailed outlines to ensure stable research and conduct necessary research, development and production of jute addressing the adverse impacts of climate change.

He said it would take initiatives to innovate new varieties of crops, including those adaptable to climate change, and apply ICT in the agriculture sector, providing necessary information and technology to farmers.

The Institute will also arrange exhibitions on new varieties of crops, publish annual reports and booklets on new crops, and provide necessary training to researchers, officials and employees of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) as well as facilitate postgraduate research, he said.

According to the final draft law, the Institute will be run under a board, the cabinet secretary said, adding that the Director General of the Institute to be appointed by the government to act as the Chairman of the board as well.

The other board members would be one each from the Ministries of Finance, Agriculture, Science and Technology and ICT who would not be below the rank of deputy secretary, a director nominated by the Ministry of Textile and Jute and two agriculture scientists to be nominated by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Besides, a representative of the BCSIR, a representative of Bangladesh Agriculture Research Council as well as a farmer representative and a representative from a private organisation working on agricultural research would also be made members of the board.

The cabinet secretary said the cabinet also approved a proposal for ratifying the D-8 Charter by Bangladesh.

At the outset of the meeting, he said, the cabinet also adopted a felicitation motion greeting the players of Bangladesh National Cricket Team, coach and officials of the BCB for the historic win in the second and last final Test against the visiting England side at Mirpur Sher-e Bangla National Stadium on Sunday.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)