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29 Jun 2017   12:42:06 AM   Thursday BdST A- A A+ Print this E-mail this

15pc uniform VAT ditched, bank excise cut: finance bill passed


 Parliament passed Wednesday the finance bill 2017-18 as the government jettisoned the much-debated 15 percent uniform rate of VAT and slashed the upraised excise duty on bank balance. Some ofher fiscal measures were also altered by Finance Minister AMA Muhith on the prime minister`s advice.

In the face of protests by businesses and public criticism, the government put off its plan to set the uniform VAT at 15 percent. For the next two fiscal years. It will follow multiple rates of value-added tax on goods and services. 

Muhith also revised excise duty on bank- account balance. For the new fiscal year starting Jul 1, he announced Tk 150 as duty on bank accounts having balance between Tk 100,000 and Tk 500,000, ditching his original proposal for Tk 800 in the budget. It means the Tk 500 existing rate of excise duty for the same slab will go.

The twin measures endorsed in parliament seem to aim at pacifying the critics of the government ahead of the next election, due in less than two years.

"Many of the proposals I received in the past few months on taxes and duties were raised during discussion in parliament. I have accepted most of these proposals following Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina`s advice and instructions," Muhith told the House, following the decisive speech of the PM and Leader of the House.

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