The budget proposed for fiscal year 2019-20 will facilitate only the high-income people, said Debapriya Bhattacharya, a distinguished fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).
He said the government did not uplift the tax-free slab of individual income but gave wealth surcharge benefit to high-income groups.
The tax-free limit of individual income stays at Tk2.5 lakh as before, while the minimum net wealth exemption limit for high-income people has been elevated to Tk3 crore from Tk2.25 crore.
“This will create inequality between lower-middle-income people and property holders,” he observed.
Debapriya made the reaction at a post-budget press conference at a city hotel on Friday.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal placed the country’s 48th budget, with an outlay of Tk523,190 crore, in parliament on Thursday.
The budget is completely contrary to the election manifesto of the Awami League government, according to Debapriya.
“Awami League’s election manifesto was a well-written and organised one, and I consider it as the party’s guiding principles. But the budget completely contrasts the manifesto,” he said.
“Our proposal is that the income tax rate for the first slab should be lowered to 7.5 per cent from the existing 10 per cent without changing the taxable income level,” he said.
“Due to this proposal in the budget, taxpayers even after owning four flats of 2000 square-feet each in Gulshan area are still exempted from paying the surcharge,” said Debapriya.
He said the government must think about the lower middle-income people and the non-taxable individual income ceiling should be raised, while the minimum net wealth exemption limit should be reduced.