The entrepreneurs of Bangladesh are exposed to a hostile taxation system which is detrimental for expansion of local and foreign investments, said Apex Footwear Ltd Managing Director Syed Nasim Manzur.
Investors are facing stepmother behaviour from the authorities concerned, he said, adding “Although an industrialist counts loss, he/she will not be exempted from the tax as per current system.”
He made the views while addressing a webinar organised by Economic Reporters’ Forum (ERF) on Saturday.
“Taxation system of Bangladesh is not business-friendly at all. So, business should be stopped. We would like to leave business just tomorrow, if problems are not resolved. The entrepreneurs are liable to count tax irrespective of his profit or loss. On the contrary, non-taxpayers enjoy various facilities. Largest businesses like us are facing bleak situation. We do not want to continue with this kind of business. Prevalence of tax anomalies will see extinction of existing industries, let alone new investment,” he said.
If National Board of Revenue (NBR) keeps listening to demand of the businessmen and remains unmoved, it creates an impression that the authorities concerned do not want to see investment in the country, he added.
Nasim Manzur said “Clarify your (authorities’) stand clearly. If we do not get support, we will shut industries. We will switch to trading business which is profitable. Industrialisation involving more effort and money cannot be continued under the current situation.”
Planning Minister MA Mannan was present at a Webinar titled “FDI for Export Diversification and Smooth LDC Graduation” as the chief guest.
Other participants in the webinar opined that all the concerned stakeholders need to extend their all-out cooperation to the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) to attract more FDI in the country.
The webinar was organised as part of the ERF Webinar Series in partnership with the Asia Foundation and Research and Policy Integration for Development (RAPID).
Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) Md Sirazul Islam spoke as special guest chaired by ERF Vice President Shafiqul Alam.
Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) President Barrister Nihad Kabir, Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) President Rizwan Rahman and Apex Footwear Managing Director Syed NasimManzur spoke as the panelists.
RAPID Executive Director and Dhaka University Professor of Development Studies Dr M Abu Yusuf and Country Representative of the Asia Foundation Kazi Faisal Bin Seraj gave the welcome addresses.
Nasim Mazur said the country’s FDI has become half of the usual volume due to Covid-19 pandemic. Many foreign investors are leaving China. Brands of China have no easy access to US market. India and Pakistan are taking the advantage. Bangladesh should not lag behind.