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7 GB cos enjoyed ‘unlawful’ tax exemption: NBR

Staff Correspondent

The National Board of Revenue chairman, Ghulam Hussain, on Thursday again said that seven companies of Grameen Bank had enjoyed ‘unlawful’ tax benefits.
He said at a press conference at the revenue board headquarters in the city that the statements given by top officials of GB companies were incorrect.
He said that the companies had not paid taxes on their incomes from different sectors such as grants, bank interest and share trading.
In a joint statement, the GB companies — Grameen Fisheries and Livestock Foundation, Grameen Capital Management Ltd, Grameen Communications, Grameen Shakti, Grameen Udyog, Grameen Trust and Grameen Kalyan — said that they had not taken any tax benefits unlawfully.
Ghulam at the press conference did not answer any questions of reporters.
Some revenue officials said that they would seek explanations from the GB companies after they would get opinions of the law ministry. They said that a formal request to the law ministry would be sent soon.
The cabinet on Monday asked the revenue board to take legal action against the tax evasion by the GB associates.
It gave the directive as a revenue board report detected tax evasion. But the board would not provide any figure relating to tax exemption by the companies.
Ghulam said the Grameen Fisheries and Livestock Foundation had enjoyed tax exemption unlawfully as its incomes from bank interest and agriculture were not tax-free.
Grameen Capital Management Ltd did not pay taxes on income from share trading, he said. Grameen Communications concealed information.
He said that Grameen Shakti and Grameen Udyog also had not paid taxes on returns from business and grants they received from the state-owned IDCOL and Grameen Bank and Grameen Fund.  
The grants for business purpose are not tax-free, he said. Grameen Trust did not pay taxes on its income from bank interest.
He said that Grameen Kalyan had not paid pay income tax.

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