National Board of Revenue Chairman Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan on Monday said customs officials sometimes have to overlook corruption to ensure the smooth flow of imports into the country.
"If these officials perform their duties transparently, the import shipments of many products will decline, or stop because of the non-compliance of traders, "the revenue board chief on Monday told this at a programme in the capital's Institute of Diploma Engineers, organised by Quantum Foundation.
''The corruption not only lies at the government offices, but the tendency also prevails among people outside the government services,'' he said.
''There is a wrong perception among general people that only government officials are corrupt,'' Mosharraf Hossain said adding that in fact, most of the people in the country get involved in corruption if they get chance.
To give an example, the NBR Chairman said it is found very often that an importer brings 70 tonnes with the declaration of importing 50 tonnes of products.
"We have offered importers duty-free access to imports of yarns or cloths used in the country's export-oriented RMG factories. But, there is a section of traders who after the import of this duty-free goods, sells those at local markets, harming local manufacturers," he said.
"There are some nefarious traders, who harm the local paper market by importing sub-standard products, causing losses for local manufacturers," the NBR chief said.
"Currently, only 20 lakh taxpayers submit their returns in the country, though the number of tax-eligible people there will be around 2 crores," he added.
"Despite all these, I won't be dispirited. With a gradual progress, the country once will be a developed one, where we will not find a single corrupt person," Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said.
"It will take time to get all the people purified. But, we have to try to be honest from now on for further development," he added.
The director (coordination) of Quantum Foundation Suraiya Rahman presided over the programme.