Let us recall the story of the military commander who was brought to a court martial for not firing artillery on the battleground and losing the war.
During the trial, the gentleman said "We did not fire because of one hundred and one reasons. Firstly, rain the previous night had wetted all the ammos and gunpowder. On top of that… …"
The court said, "Okay, enough, stop stop stop! No more explanation I need."
The government announcing a year-long opportunity to invest undisclosed money in the capital market reminds us of the story.
The long-sought facility for the stock market seems to have caught a wet gunpowder problem.
Capital market groups like DSE Brokers Association (DBA) had proposed to allow undisclosed money into the capital market instruments so that the sinking market gets some lifeline—fund inflow.
There have been questions on whether fund injection alone can help the market rebound as the question why investors are ignoring the underlying opportunities at the bourses of Dhaka and Chattogram have one hundred and one answers.
To secure a sustainable investment from previous tax dodging individuals, capital market groups also prescribed a three-year lock-in in their investments in stocks.
That means to avail the opportunity to capitalize the bearish stock market situation with their undeclared capital, an individual only needs to hold the investment for three years.
Expert brokerage professionals are suggesting a similar time horizon if their new clients want to gain from the undervalued market, averting pains in short term price swings.
Government in the proposed budget for the next fiscal year has declared exactly what the market groups wanted from the ministry of finance.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, in his post budget press conference has loudly and rationally said, this government has given a lot for the market.
Yes, it is a generous stance, market players also can not disagree.
So what is the problem now?
The problem is that the government opened too many windows to whiten undisclosed wealth that made the capital market literally irrelevant to a taxpayer taking the opportunity.
An individual taxpayer does not need a capital market at all as a money whitening machine.
One can declare in his or her next income tax return that "I have a certain amount of cash in hand that was not disclosed before."
He or she would pay 10 percent of the amount as whitening tax and would face no question about the source of money, spending or investment destination, nothing literally.
Having that easiest chance who would bother to go to the ailing stock market that is lacking strength, facing sell pressure, and blamed for not retaining investors' confidence and trust.
If one needs to invest in stocks, he or she can do it just after straight whitening of cash and avert the complexity of the proposed three-year lock in.
Bangladesh Merchant Bankers Association on Sunday has requested the finance ministry to delete the idea of lock-in as it makes no sense in the emerging context.
Alongside cash, one also can whiten his or her other assets than capital market instruments with a mere additional tax --being it a real estate, bank deposits, any saving scheme or certificate.
The writer is a business reporter.