Muhith’s net worth increased Tk 8.3m in 9 years
Senior Correspondent bdnews24.com
Published: 2016-11-28 21:07:00.0 BdST Updated: 2016-11-28 21:07:00.0 BdST
Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith’s assets have gone up by Tk 8,358,050 in the two terms the Awami League has been in power.
The finance minister informed reporters of the situation himself during a conference on filing online income tax returns at the finance ministry on Monday.
According to his income tax statement, the minister paid Tk 212,611 in taxes during the 2016-17 tax year. Tk 2.06 million of his Tk 3.43 million income fell under taxable income.
Asked whether ministers should disclose their assets every year, the finance minister said: “Assets and income are very personal matters. People can reveal them if they want to. But I cannot force them to do so. The tax laws do not allow it.”
“The ministers submit an estimate of their assets to the prime minister. If anyone feels it necessary, they can ask the prime minister’s office to provide that information. If the prime minister wishes to do so, she can.”
At the time of the Awami League’s return to power following the elections of 2008, Muhith had promised that the assets of ministers would be made public. He has since changed his stance.
Within five minutes the online filing system had completed his tax documents and Muhith was able to take a print-out of his tax certificate.
The finance minister emphasised the ease involved in the use of the system.
“I only have to submit my information,” he said. “The software does the rest.”
Asked about a case where an individual was able to receive a loan without the necessary documentation, Muhith said: “We are very strict about this. Often people who have connections to a bank’s board of directors get those kinds of loans.”
“This is why we hire the most skilled, instead of making political appointments. But there is the occasional ‘bad head’,” he said.
National Board of Revenue Chairman Md Nojibur Rahman said that tax revenues were up almost 17 percent in the current fiscal year. Revenue from income tax, customs and VAT had all increased.
The NBR chairman said he hoped for an increase in the number of Bangladeshi taxpayers to 2.5 million this year.
Referring to his trip to Vietnam, he said: “There I saw how much further we still have to go; 49 million of the 91 million people of Vietnam pay taxes.”
The chairman also said that VAT week would begin on Dec 9.
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