Consumers are strongly against the proposed 15 percent VAT (Value Added Tax) on electricity as they already pay a 5 percent VAT on it. General consumers are against the extended VAT on electricity as well as the proposed VAT has no clear indication on how the VAT will be calculated and collected.
Shamsul Alam, an energy advisor of the Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) informed the implications of the proposed VAT to the National Board of Revenue (NBR). He said that, affordable price of daily commodities like gas, electricity, water can play a vital role in the economic prosperity and stability of the country.
Shamsul Alam, attending a workshop on VAT and Excise Duty said that, the consumers are afraid of such proposed VAT on electricity. The workshop was organized by the NBR’s VAT Online project and presided over by the NBR President Nazibur Rahman and CAB chairman Golam Rahman was the chief guest.
Vat Online project director Rezaul Hasan said that, the mass people has a common misconception about any upcoming budget that, the price of everything will go up, which is misguided. However, the proposed VAT on electricity may get revised in the Jatiya Sangsad.
Shamsul Alam said doubted that, there is a lack of indication on how the VAT will be collected from imported fuel oils. He said that, these things need to be clarified properly.
Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) is the responsible body for determining the price of electricity and gas like daily commodities at the end customer level. He questioned about the process of implementation of the proposed 15% VAT on electricity whether it is allowed by the commission.
NBR member Jahangir said that, the government sells gas at a lower price than it buys from the producers, which allows the mass people to get gas at such lower price compared to the global market.
Golam Rahman said that, a direct tax is always better than an indirect tax. The new proposed VAT law will create unrest among the public raise the price of other products and services, once it gets passed through at last. He alleged that Electronic Cash Register is not still implemented.
NBR President Nazibur Rahman said that, awareness should be raised among the mass people that, the proposed budget has so many silver linings. The proposed budget has given more security to the local industries and exporters, he added.