Dhaka, Bangladesh
Do not raise excise duty: 14-party Alliance

Do not raise excise duty: 14-party Alliance

Awami League-led 14-party Alliance has demanded cancellation of the provision in recently presented national budget that has raised excise duty on savings accounts in banks, reports bdnews24.com. Jatiya Party General Secretary Sheikh Shahidul Islam said the budget should be revised to help out common people. "We demand withdrawal of the excise duty and surcharge on bank accounts and other parts of the budget that adversely affect people." The FY2018 budget proposes increasing excise duty from Tk 500 to Tk 800 a year on account balance of more than Tk 100,000. Currently, account holders pay Tk 150 annually on balance ranging from Tk 20,000 to less than Tk 100,000. Accounts with less than Tk 20,000 enjoy duty waiver. Finance Minister AMA Muhith believes those who have at least Tk 100,000 in bank accounts are well-off, which means they are capable of paying excise duty. During a meeting at Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Dhanmondi office on Sunday, the alliance demanded withdrawal of the raises. The new move by Muhith has led to criticism from businessman, bankers and economists. Centre for Policy Dialogue or CPD believes that the decision would act as a disincentive for those using banking channels in times of falling interest rates on savings. Awami League-led 14-party alliance spokesperson Mohammad Nasim said the budget was "good as a whole" and "it would boost up economy."

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