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Corporate tax to be changed in next FY: Muhith

Dhaka-Mawa expressway soon

Staff Correspondent

Finance minister AMA Muhith on Monday announced plans to overhaul the country’s corporate tax structure saying that the existing one was not ‘appropriate’. 
‘There will be change in corporate tax structure in the coming fiscal year,’ he said during a meeting with officials of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industries at his secretariat office.
He, however, did not make it clear whether the highest rate of corporate tax at 45 per cent would be lowered.
The finance minister disclosed that the government had planned to construct an expressway between the city’s zero-point and Mawa, the latter being one end of the proposed Padma Bridge, at an estimated cost of around US$ 1.5 billion.
He, however, did not elaborate details of the newly proposed project in which the government might invest US$ 100 million.
He said the public-private-partnership office would come up with details of the expressway project soon. He admitted that the PPP concept did not make satisfactory progress in the last five years.  
He hoped that the PPP projects would receive expected progress in the coming months.
Muhith said money was not a problem for the government to execute the transport related infrastructure projects like the ongoing up-gradation of the Dhaka-Chittagong and the Dhaka-Mymensingh highways.
He blamed the contractors for the unexpected and long delay.
‘There’s no problem regarding funds and design. But the contractors concerned don’t work properly and there is less control over them,’ he said.
Muhith suggested that the businessmen should prepare themselves for the change in corporate tax structure in the coming fiscal to be started from next July.
Businessmen will welcome the finance minister’s statement as they have long been urging the revenue board for reducing the corporate tax rate that they say was the highest in South Asia.
They argued that the high rate of corporate tax was scaring away many potential domestic and foreign investors.
The corporate tax rates vary between 27.5 per cent and 45 per cent in the country. Companies listed with the share market enjoy rebate in corporate tax.
Muhith observed that there should a different outlook to the high bank interest rates after the DCCI leaders expressed concern over the issue.
‘We should try to go into a system where there would be a relation between interest rate and bank rate,’ he said.
Muhith said the high bank interest rate had turned into a common phenomenon in Bangladesh, but as per economic consideration there should be minor differences between interest rate and inflation rate which is a global practice.
He, however, did not find any relationship between these two. 




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