Dhaka, 29th May 2012. Today seventeen civil society rights group networks and organizations in a rally and human chain organized in front of national press club, Dhaka termed the Black Politics is the prime source of black money and tax injustice in the country. They urged government to expand direct tax in the next budget and to reconsider VAT expansions. They also mentioned that country must be aiming for self reliance in development finance and should not expect foreign aid more. The group carried a banner which said that, the nation wants to pay more taxes but there must be steps to reduce luxury and to stop corruption.
The rally was moderated by Mostafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD, other speakers of the rally were Joyanta Acharja of Shurakkah Foundation, Prodip K Roy of OK Society, Subal Sarkar of Bhumihin Somity, Badrul Alam of Bangladesh Krishok Fedration, Hena Chowdhury and Mejbah Uddin Ahmed of Jatiya Sramik Jote and Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD. Apart from above mentioned organizations and networks other participating organizations are Development Centre Initiatives, Eventful Bangladesh Society, Manush Manusher Jonny, Media Foundation for Trade and Development, Prodip, SDO, Sirac Bangladesh, UP Trust and VOICE.
The group circulated a position paper, where they have mentioned other demands, i.e, (i) government must declare a road map to stop whitening opportunity of black money, they demand only punishment tax on undisclosed money, (ii) government must declare austerity measure as respect to the public pain in this difficult economic situation in line with the recommendation of Public Expenditure Review Commission Report (PERC) and also following the example of new French president, e.g., he declared small cabinet and reduce salary level of all 10 to 20 %, (iii) there must be steps to reduce corruption of revenue department, and (iv) Office of Auditor General must publish all audit report of government offices and urged parliamentary standing committee on public audit and accounts must be more active and open in this regard.
Mejbah Uddin Ahmed of Jatiya Sramik Jote has mentioned that in compliance with IMF conditions, government is going to prepare new VAT expansion law, which is regressive to poor, it is already 70 % source of revenue as indirect tax, while in developed and neighboring and developed countries, direct tax i.e., personal and corporate taxes are the major source of government revenue. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury has mentioned that only 5 % i.e., 8 million people most of them who lives in Dhaka are the owner of 40 % resource of the country, among them on 0.5 % only 1 million people gives taxes. They country has more than 22 thousand people who has bank account with more than taka 1 corore i.e. 10 millions, but among them only around 1000 people gives taxes. So, there are massive scopes of enhancing direct taxes.