Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The National Parliament of Bangladesh, officially known as Jatiya Sangsad, has passed the ‘Finance Bill 2017’ with several amendments to the budget proposals.
The amendments include reducing the rates of excise duty on the deposits of bank accounts and delaying the full enforcement of the Value Added Tax (VAT) and Supplementary Duty Act, 2012.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith said he accepted all proposals of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina regarding the changes of some budget proposals and urged all quarters to rise above all narrow personal interests and involve themselves in building a happy prosperous Bangladesh as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The Parliament cleared the Bill after Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Choudhury placed it for voice vote.
The Bill was introduced in the House on June 1 when Finance Minister AMA Muhith placed the BDT 4002.66 billion national budget for the fiscal year (FY) 2017-18 in the National Parliament.
According to the finance bill, bank accounts having deposits of BDT 100,000 are exempt from excise duty. But bank accounts having deposits between BDT 100,000 and BDT 500,000 will have to pay BDT 150 as excise duty, between BDT 0.5 million and BDT 1.0 million will have to pay BDT 500, between BDT 1.0 million and BDT 10 million will have to pay BDT 2500, between BDT 10 million and BDT 50 million will have to pay BDT 12000 and account holders having deposits between BDT 50 million and above will have to pay BDT 25000.
The implementation of the Value Added Tax and Supplementary Duty Act, 2012 will be delayed for two years and the government will take steps to enforce it in phases after bringing some amendments to the law, the finance minister added.
According to the finance bill, there will be no VAT on meditation for the next two years. Locally manufactured computers and cellular phones and their parts, motor cycle industry were exempt from VAT.
The VAT on locally assembly industry of refrigerators reduced to 20 per cent from 30 per cent and there will be no VAT on plastic and fibre-glass made LPG containers at import level. Import of solar panels is exempt from duty.
In his closing speech about the interest of savings certificates the finance minister said he did not say anything about the reduction of the interest rates of savings certificates so that pensioners, middle and lower middle people are not affected.
But the sale of savings tools stood at BDT 420.98 billion up to April, 2017 against the government’s target of BDT 196.10 billion which has been creating pressure on the government’s expenditure management, he said and hinted adjustment of interest rates in future based on the inflation rate.
The minister also said the government has started working on expanding pension facilities so that maximum population can get its protection.
Mr. Muhith expressed the hope that the country will be able to achieve 7.4 per cent growth as forecast in the budget for FY18.
Macro-economy is now at a stable position because of comfortable forex reserve, favourable balance of payment, falling inflation rate and the government revenue and monetary policies, according to the finance minister.
About implementation of Annual Development Programme (ADP), he said the capacity for implementation of ADP has been increased over the last two tenures of the Awami League government. The expenditure for ADP was BDT 19 6.33 billion n fiscal 2005-06 but it stood at BDT 79 3.51 billion in fiscal 2015-16.