‘Grassroots expectation is that budget is not only announced driven it should be real direct tax driven and the announced budget not only indirect finance related but it reflects to transparent, efferent & professional aspects and ensure pro-poor, implementable, transparent and accountable manner’- in a pre-budget discussion meeting SUPRO-(a network of civil society organizations) has demanded the similar view. SUPRO has organized the meeting on May 07, 2016, at VIP Lounge, National Press Club, Dhaka. The program has co-sponsored by 11 organizations including Come to Work (Dinjapur), Darpan (Comilla), ijol (Jamalpur), Jagonari (Barguna), PKSS (Natore), PPS (Pabna), SETU (Kushtia), Shoroney (Tangail), SoDESH Satkhira (Satkhira), Voice (Mymensingh) and YPSA (Chittagong). The meeting has presided over by Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, Chairperson, SUPRO & Executive Director, VOICE and the meeting has moderated by Md. Arifur Rahman, General Secretary, SUPRO & Chief Executive, YPSA. The distinguished guests including Dr. Abdur Razzak, MP, Hon’ble President, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, Bangladesh National Parliament, Mr. M A Mannan, MP, Hon’ble State Minister to the Ministry of Finance & Planning, Government of Bangladesh, Colonel (Rtd.) Showkat Ali, MP, Hon’ble President, Parliamentary Caucus on National Planning and Budget and Kazi Rozy, MP, Hon’ble Vice President, Parliamentary Caucus on National Planning and Budget presented at the discussion meeting. Dr. Mohammad Abdul Mazid, Former Chairman, National Board of Revenue, has presented as the key discussants.
SUPRO, in collaboration with Oxfam and the “Capacity for Research and Advocacy for Fair Taxation (CRAFT)” consortium recently conducted a study on ‘Fair Tax Monitor Bangladesh’ in line with two African countries: Senegal and Uganda and one from South Asia: Pakistan with the objectives to identify main bottlenecks in Bangladesh’s tax system, provide strong evidence-based support for country-level advocacy work, and create a framework to compare tax systems of selected countries over time. The findings were shared on 15 December 2015 at a meeting with the Media, Development Partners and CSOs at the Daily Star Building, Dhaka.
Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, Chairperson of SUPRO, chaired the meeting while Alison Subrata Baroi, Director of SUPRO, presented the findings and recommendations of. Dr. Mohammad Abdul Mazid, former Chairman of NBR and Towfiqul Islam Khan, Senior Research Fellow of CPD, were present as discussants.
Baroi said tax system in Bangladesh is gradually improving, raising more revenue and reducing aid dependency. Share of personal income tax in total tax revenue has steadily increased over the years but collection remains below potential especially considering the number of eligible taxpayers in Bangladesh. The same can be said about revenue from wealth taxes. According to NBR, less than 1% of the taxpayers have assets worth over Tk 20 million, which is unrealistic and unbelievable.
After UN Summit on Sustainable Development and approval of SDGs SUPRO organized another press briefing which was held at Dhaka Reporters Unity on 17 November 2015 where certain recommendations are placed before the media.
SURPO seems that in the meantime Bangladesh has already incorporated & reflected maximum areas of SDG goals and associated targets in its 7th FYP. If Bangladesh can achieve these goals and targets, then it will automatically enhance of her advancement and will be taken part of the changing world scenario.
Speakers at the press briefing urged to build a national committee, consist of CSOs, NGOs representatives, related GoB institutes and stakeholders for following up and monitoring of SDGs targets.
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