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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SUPRO (Campaingn for Good Goverance), a grassroots civil society network urged the MPs to play active role for accountable, transparent and effective implementation of SDGs and 7th Five Year Plan in a dicussion meeting with the Parliamentary Caucus on National Planning and Budget held on yesterday at the Oath Room, National Parliament Building, Dhaka.
Dr. Md. Rustum Ali Faraji, MP chaired the meeting while General Secretary of the Caucus Nazmul Haque Prodhan, MP and General Secreatary of SUPRO Md. Arifur Rahman welcomed all. SUPRO Director Alison Subrata Baroi presented the key note paper tilted “Implementaion and Challenges: Sustainable Development Goals-2030 and Bangladesh 7th Five Year Plan”. Member of Parliamentary Caucus and Parliamentary Standing Committee, national council members of SUPRO, university teachers, representatives from development partners, NGOs and media took part in the meeting. Former Chairperson of SUPRO Abdul Awal moderated the session.
The key note paper highlighted that the heads of 193 countries has approved the global development framework - the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 on 25th September 2015 in UN HQ, New York, which is a result of inclusive and collective effort from all the states and non states actors that consolidated wide range of needs and aspiration from human rights perspectives. In connection with the spirit of SDGs, Bangladesh government has developed and approved its 7th Five Year Plan (2016-2020) in October 20, 2015. As the goals and targets of the SDGs are well taken care of in the formulation of the 7th Five Year Plan, it can be said that the country will be an ‘early starter’ in the implementation process of the SDGs. However, there are some challenges for effective, accountable and transparent implementation that include how the country will develop its own indicators; what would be the monitoring and accountable mechasim; how the fund will be mobilized to carryout the activities; how the plan will be reflected in annual plan and budget, to what extent the participation from all stakes will be ensured; to what extent the developed countries commitment will be ensured and so on. Finally SUPRO placed 10 recommendations to the government and members of parliament. Key of the recommendations is below: