'I'm Not Under Any Pressure, I'll Do Whatever I've Pledged': Kamal

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal ||File Photo

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal ||File Photo

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal today categorically said that he is not under any pressure by any means for the budgetary provision for bringing back the undisclosed money of Bangladeshis abroad in the mainstream of economy adding that he would accomplish whatever he had pledged, reports BSS.

"I'm not under any pressure by any means. I'll do whatever I've pledged and won't return from the midway. I've committed as I mean it," he said.

The Finance Minister said this virtually while replying to a volley of questions after chairing separate meetings on the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) and the Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase (CCGP).

The privilege for tax amnesty in such case would remain in force for a year till June 2023, according to the budget proposal for the next fiscal year (FY23).

The proposed budget has given Bangladeshis a scope for legalising their unreported assets outside the country without facing any question in the next fiscal year, subject to paying taxes ranging from only 7 percent to 15 percent.

According to the proposed provision, no authority, including the income tax authority, shall raise any question as to the source of any asset located abroad if a taxpayer pays tax on such asset.

Kamal said there was also widespread criticism that the incentives on inward remittance would not boost the flow, but ultimately it paid back and there was a historic record in inward remittance flow which was not possible before the introduction of incentives on remittance.

He said the existing system is partly liable for the creation of undisclosed money adding that those need to be mainstreamed. "It is not black money, rather undisclosed money."

Citing an example, he said that the government is often deprived of getting due revenues from the registration of assets like flats since those are registered in less price.

When asked whether the government has any plan to increase the price of fuel oil, the Finance Minister said that the government is yet to take any final decision in this regard.

He said the stance of the government in such important issue is that the consumers should suffer less. "If there is high increase of global prices, then some pressure come on the consumers, otherwise the government usually bears that pressure. We usually have to give space to the consumers and also due subsidy to relief them from such pressure. We can say further if there is any concrete decision," Kamal said.

Replying to another question about the budgetary measures for boosting the capital market, he said the details would be available as what kind of parameters are being kept for the capital market when the proposed budget is passed in the parliament.

He said the supplementary budget has already been passed while everyone would be able to know in details as well as the directives would be implemented regarding the stock market when the proposed budget for FY23 is passed.

"I think there are a lot of things for the capital market in the proposed budget. The country's economy is being operated in a better way and we'll continue to do so. The growth is good while all the major macroeconomic indicators are better compared to other countries of the world. These are positive sides," he said.

Noting that there would remain ups and downs in the capital market, the Finance Minister said it is the earnest desire of the government is that the capital market would be operated in a better way.

Replying to another question about the exact amount of remittance outflow, he said amount is not fixed and some people from abroad are working in the country's RMG sector for their expertise.

Usually when the local exporter want to export goods to established foreign companies, then the exporters need to hire experts affiliated with the foreign companies since there was lack of expertise, he said.

"But, now we know what needs to be done as we know how to do efficient marketing, after sales service ...It's a vice versa," he added.

The Finance Minister also expressed his firm optimism that the inward remittance would increase in the coming days as well as the foreign currency reserves. 

Besides, he hoped that a big chunk of the undisclosed money, expected to come from abroad following the tax amnesty, would be invested in the capital market, in trade, commerce and in industries.

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