Speakers at a webinar on Tuesday said only providing chance to whiten black money will not benefit the country’s economy unless the vicious circle of illicit income is broken.
They said revenue collection needs to be increased as the government’s expenditure increased due to COVID-19 pandemic. There is a special need for political commitment, social movement, transparency of information and political leadership to increase tax collection as a whole and ensure economic development.
Chairman of Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Professor Rehman Sobhan said that the benefits of black money whitening will discourage honest taxpayers.
He suggested the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to research whether special tax benefits are really positive for the economy.
According to NBR data, 7,445 taxpayers have legalised undisclosed income of around Tk 10,220 crore with a tax of around Tk 950 crore in the first six months of the current FY-2021.
Citizen’s Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh organised the webinar on whether whitening black money was beneficial or harmful for the economy.
Presiding over the function, Convener of the Citizen’s Platform Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya said this opportunity to whiten black money indulges in injustice.
“Though this opportunity is positive for the economy on a limited scale and for a short time, it’s harmful in the long run,” he said.
Former member (Customs Policy) of NBR Md Farid Uddin said the lack of good governance is the reason behind the black money. “The role of political leadership is significant to prevent black income,” he added.
On the other hand, member of NBR (Customs policy) Md Alomgir Hossain said providing black money whitening facilities through special tax benefits will help the overall economic development.