In the new year, there are two expectations – to get rid of Covid-19 and to have the assurance of life and livelihood. I am expecting major changes in tax policy, trade policy, business policy and foreign policy from the government to ensure livelihood in 2021.
The existing VAT law has fixed a single VAT rate of 15%. Hopefully, next year's budget will break it down into several slabs. It is almost impossible for small and medium enterprises to pay 15% VAT. The VAT rate should be reduced for them.
There can be separate slabs for corporate entities. And for large companies, VAT rates should be different.
The income tax rate should be brought down to one digit. Many are showing interest in paying income tax as the tax rate has been reduced to 10% this year. If it is reduced further to a single digit, tax coverage will increase.
The government should announce a business policy for at least five to ten years. Then businessmen from home and abroad will understand what the government wants to do in the next 10 years. They will be able to invest after making their plans in accordance with the government's policy.
A good understanding between businessmen and the National Board of Revenue is required. If the tax policy changes every year, traders find themselves in trouble.
We hope attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) and increasing exports will get the utmost importance in next year's foreign policy. It is necessary to declare a lucrative incentive for this.
I hope the government will work hard to reduce the cost of doing business in the upcoming year. For this, the lack of coordination between different ministries and departments has to be eliminated.
In particular, we hope the cost of doing business will be reduced by maintaining fulltime co-ordination between the industries minister, the finance minister, the commerce minister, the shipping minister, the state minister for power and energy, the housing and public works minister, and the labour minister.
Mahbub Alam, president of Chattogram Chamber of Commerce and Industry