RANGPUR, June 03, 2017 (BSS) - Terming the proposed budget for the 2017-18 fiscal as pro-people, time- befitting and realistic, Rangpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) today forecasted that the GDP might cross 7.5 percent if the budget was implemented properly.
After an assessment of the budget, President of RCCI Md Abul Kashem on behalf of executive committee members and directors of the organisation, hailed the budget and forwarded suggestions for consideration, a press release said today.
In the release, the RCCI President hailed increased allocations in education, health, ICT, public services, transport, communication, infrastructural development of ports, power, mega projects, social safety net and defence sectors in the budget.
He hailed proposals of keeping special allocations for minority communities, change in tax structures for saving local industries, special facilities for freedom fighters, increasing annual tax-free limit for small and medium entrepreneurs and keeping region-based minimum tax limit of Taka 5,000, 4,000 and 3,000 unchanged.
The RCCI President lauded the proposals for special allocations for development of the people living in backward, char and remote areas, enhancing subsidies and incentives in agriculture sector and continuing present tax facilities for essential commodities.
Besides, the RCCI President hailed the proposals for increasing taxes on tobacco products, exemption of taxes in animal husbandry and fisheries sectors, increasing tax-free income range for physically challenged people.
"All these proposals would increase foreign investments, industrialisation and create huge employments in line with the slogan "Bangladesh on the development highway: Time is now ours' of the proposed budget to cross the 7.5 per cent GDP," he said.
However, criticising the imposition of 15 percent single VAT rate in the new VAT law, the RCCI President said the decision would adversely affect SME sector, increase inflation and cause sufferings to common people.
"The proposal of keeping corporate tax rate unchanged will discourage entrepreneurs to invest and not increasing the tax-free income limit of private category tax payers will put them under additional pressure of inflation," Kashem said.
"The proposed excise duty on bank deposits will force common people to keep money in hands hindering capital flow to banks and nonbanking sector money transaction will increase to cause social unrest," he feared and demanded cancelation of such duty.
He expressed disappointment as there are no allocations in the proposed budget for flourishing trade, commerce and industrialisation in the economically backward Rangpur region and supplying natural gas through pipelines to the region.
He demanded adoption of special projects with allocations, supplying natural gas and formation of North Bengal Development Ministry on urgent basis for speeding up development in the region to avoid resentment among traders as well as common people.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)