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Power & Energy - 3 weeks ago

Over Tk 55,000 cr duty due in energy sector

Zarif Mahmud: The National Board of Revenue (NBR) owes nearly Tk 55,000 crore to at least 12 companies under the Department of Energy and Mineral Resources. This is more than 13 percent of NBR’s total revenue target for the current financial year 2023-24. However, there is no option to increase revenue collection in the current overall economic situation as well as International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditions. In such a reality, special initiatives are being taken to collect the arrears of tax as a part of meeting the target of revenue collection in the budget of the next financial year 2024-25. An initial decision has also been made to give at least Tk 16 thousand crores of budget allocated in favor of these institutions directly to NBR from the Ministry of Finance.
A meeting was held under the chairmanship of Rahmatul Munim, Chairman of NBR to determine the way to collect the due tax of this sector. Members of NBR, Chairman of Bangladesh Oil Gas and Mineral Resources Corporation (Pettobangla) and Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC), managing directors of BPC’s affiliates and other officials were present.
In addition to several decisions in the meeting to solve the complications and quickly collect these outstanding revenues, a policy decision was made to collect at least Tk 16 thousand crore from the allocation given by the Ministry of Finance against these tax evading institutions in the next budget by direct deduction to the National Revenue Board.
However, this matter will be finalized after discussing with the Ministry of Finance.
After reviewing the information presented in the meeting, it is known that dues of import duty, value added tax (VAT) and
income tax of the state-owned Petrobangla stand at Tk 37,549 crores. Apart from this, the outstanding tax of BPC is Tk 6,899 crores, Titas Gas is Tk 2,284 crores, Padma Oil is Tk 2,145 crores, Sylhet Gas is Tk 1,735 crores, Meghna Petroleum is Tk 1,028 crores and some other organizations have outstanding taxes.
According to sources, these companies including Petrobangla, BPC collected VAT of Tk 24,221 crores from customers but did not submit it to NBR. Apart from this, Tk 13,550 crores of income tax and Tk 17,000 crores of import duty were paid after the stipulated time but not paid to NBR. The total outstanding duty of these institutions is Tk 54,775 crore.
Earlier, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina directed the Energy and Mineral Resources Department and the Finance Department to take necessary steps to collect all dues. Then on April 24 of this year, Energy Secretary Md. Nurul Alam hold an inter-ministerial meeting.
Meanwhile, according to the conditions of the IMF, the government will have to collect tax revenue of Tk 4 lakh 78 thousand crore in the next financial year. NBR collects almost all of the revenue. According to the preliminary calculations, to achieve the target, NBR will have to collect more revenue of about Tk 70 thousand crore in the next financial year compared to the current financial year. It will be much easier to meet this condition if we get Tk 55 thousand crores of tax arrears of the energy sector.
The former chairman of NBR Mohammad Abdul Majeed said, besides other issues, due to tax defaults of these institutions of the government, problems arise in managing the macro economy. Due to such various reasons, the tax-DGP ratio does not increase. This situation has existed for a long time. If these companies had paid taxes with transparency, the government would not have had to take so much debt. Therefore, the government should develop this situation for its own sake. At the same time, income should be increased by ensuring transparency in these institutions. If additional dividends are received from these institutions in terms of government expenditure, the target of NBR will be reduced. There will be an opportunity to reduce the tax burden on the people. More attention should be paid to these issues.

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