Muhith, FBCCI exchange heated words over new VAT law


MNA Editorial Desk: A forum of businessmen today exchanged heated words with Finance Minister AMA Muhith centering Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI)’s proposal over new VAT law.

The argument took place at a meeting jointly organized by National Board of Revenue (NBR) and Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Dhaka this noon.

At one point in the discussions Business Unity Forum Secretary and FBCCI Director Abu Motaleb claimed the government was levying the new VAT without providing small businesses sufficient training in how to deal with the new tax.

Abu Motaleb said, “The NBR and the FBCCI have been working over VAT but the result is zero. There has been no arrangement for imparting training to businesspersons over VAT. Whatever has been done was just a show-off.”

“How will the Chalkbazar businessmen know the use of electronic cash registrar if they are not given training about this?” he asked rhetorically.

He also threatened a movement against new VAT system if the government does not accept their set of demands.

Finance Minister Muhith intercepted him and said some 0.8 million businesses are registered, but only 32 thousand of them pay VAT.

Pointing to Motaleb, he said, “How many of you from small and medium enterprises pay VAT? You are raising hue and cry without any reason.”

The minister also threatened action against any movement opposing the new VAT system.

The other businessmen cried out against the minister’s threat and many of them shouted, “Don’t make such threat to subdue our movement.”

FBCCI Vice President Shafiul Alam Mohiuddin stepped in to control the situation.