20 highest taxpayers get NBR awardsStaff Correspondent
The National Board of Revenue on Monday awarded the 20 highest individual and corporate income taxpayers of the 2009-2010 financial year in recognition of their contributions towards the nation’s economy.
Finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith handed over the tax cards and certificates to 10 individuals and 10 companies at a programme organised by the NBR at the Officers’ Club in the city.
It was the first time the NBR had rewarded the highest taxpayers at the national level.
Speaking at the programme, Muhith stressed the need for expanding the tax administration and a taxpayer-friendly system to provide improved services to the taxpayers.
He urged the people, especially the nation’s richest ones, to pay taxes in higher amounts to contribute to the national development process.
‘You, the blessed people in the society, have responsibilities towards the country. So you should pay taxes in higher amounts,’ he said.
Terming the ratio of direct tax, tax-GDP ratio and the number of taxpayers very poor, he said that the government would have to work more to improve on such a gloomy situation.
The ratio of direct tax is only 30 per cent and tax-GDP ratio is 10-11 per cent in the country while only 14 lakh people, out of 15 crore in the country, have paid taxes in the current fiscal year, he said.
‘We will have to widen the tax net to improve the situation,’ he said.
The government will also have to focus on increasing revenue from income tax, value added tax from products and services as revenue collection from the import duty, currently one of the major sources of revenue, will not exist after 8 to 10 years due to free market economy, he said.
NBR chairman Ghulam Hussain said that the number of taxpayers should be increased to 60 lakh.
The awardees would enjoy a number of privileges for one year from the issue date of the card, including priority while reserving seats in public transports and access to VIP lounges at the airports.
The tax card holders, their spouses and children will also get priority while reserving cabins in the public hospitals while the card holders would get invitations to national programmes, including any citizens’ reception organised by the municipalities and city corporations.
Among the individual taxpayers, Motazzerul Islam of Rangpur secured the top position by paying Tk 4 crore. Other awardees are Iqbal Haider Chowdhury, Md Kaus Mia, MM Amjad Hussain, Mohammad Eusuf, MA Haider Hussain and Motahar Hossain of Dhaka, Salahuddin Kasem Khan and AM Ziauddin Khan of Chittagong and Laila Hussain of Dhaka.
In the corporate taxpayers’ category, US-based Chevron Bangladesh Block-12 topped the list of the highest corporate taxpayers, paying Tk 138 crore as tax.
Other nine corporate taxpayers selected for tax cards are Sylhet Gas Field, Citibank NA, American Life Insurance Company, Trust Bank, The Security Printing Corporation Bangladesh, Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority, Jamuna Bank, AK Khan and Company and Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company (BAPEX).
Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed, NBR members Bashir Uddin Ahmed and MA Kader Sarker, Motazzerul Islam, the highest individual taxpayer, and Ismail Hossain Chowdhury, director of Chevron Bangladesh, also spoke at the programme.
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