Govt. Grapples With Unlisted Public Service Fees

Desk Report

Published: 28 Mar 2024, 01:28 pm

Finance Ministry Logo || File Photo

Finance Ministry Logo || File Photo

The government of Bangladesh has no complete list of public services against which it levies fees or charges.

“There are thousands of public services against which the government levies fees or charges, but there is no complete list of such fees and charges and when those were imposed,” according to an official document of the Finance Ministry.

According the official document titled ‘Medium Term Macroeconomic Policy Statement (2023-24 to 2025-26)’ of the Finance Division of the Finance Ministry, the government has partially set up an online database of all non tax revenue (NTR) items with the fees, charges or prices and their dates of imposition.

“This partial database has opened scope with the hope of increasing NTR income manifolds from administrative fees,” it said.

On the other hand, the government is not only focusing on enhanced revenue mobilisation from NTR by raising fees or charges, but also putting its best effort to ensure efficient and satisfactory service delivery.

The government has taken numerous initiatives to make service delivery systems paperless and to minimise human deployment in this system. This is one of the key features to building Smart Bangladesh by 2041, the document said.

The government has multiplied public investment during the last one and a half decade, of which the SOEs/Autonomous Bodies (ABs) have enjoyed capital support either in the form of loans or equities.

Loans are registered under government accounts through Subsidiary Loan Agreements (SLAs) and thereby interest is charged.

“However, there is no consolidated database for equity investments of the government and therefore there is no precise estimate for dividend income,” the official document said.

The government has taken the initiative to create an exhaustive database for equity investments in the SOEs/ABs as well as establish a Financial Reporting Council for setting standard financial statements to ensure proper assessment of these organisations.

According to the ‘Medium Term Macroeconomic Policy Statement (2023-24 to 2025-26)’, With the economic advancement of the country the scope and volumes of public services have evolved and expanded.

Government organisations are engaged in delivering various new services in new forms to the public.

The government has taken initiatives to explore such novel and voluminous services against which fees/charges may be collected through organising stakeholders’ consultation workshops, seminars, etc.

As per the Medium Term Macroeconomic Policy Statement (2023-24 to 2025-26) of the Finance Division, some Tk 5343 billion will come from tax revenue sector in the 2024-25 fiscal year and Tk 6463 billion in 2025-26 fiscal year.

In the next two fiscal years, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) will provide Tk 5095 billion and Tk 6171 billion.

From the Income Tax wing, the collection will be Tk 1753 billion for the next fiscal while Tk 2123 billion for 2025-26 fiscal, and the collection from import duties will be Tk 1511 billion and Tk 1830 billion respectively.

From the VAT and supplementary Duties, the revenue collection will be Tk 1831 billion and Tk 2218 billion respectively.

The non-NBR tax for the 2024-25 fiscal and 2025-26 fiscal will be Tk 248 billion and Tk 292 billion respectively with non-tax revenue collection will be Tk 529 billion and Tk 634 billion respectively.

The target for running 2023-24 fiscal is Tk 5000 billion with Tk 4500 billion from tax revenue. Of the total amount, Tk 4300 billion will come from NBR through Tk 1480 billion from income tax, Tk 1275 billion from import duties, Tk 1545 billion from VAT and supplementary duties. Some Tk 200 billion will be collected from the non-NBR sector while Tk 500 billion from the non-tax revenue sector._UNB

Editor & Publisher: Eliash Uddin Palash

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