The Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Foundation has described the proposed budget as SME-friendly.
"This year, the budget has become business-friendly, more specifically SME-friendly, because the corporate tax rate for non-listed companies has been decreased from 32.5% to 30%," said Dr Md Mafizur Rahman, managing director of SME Foundation, at an online press conference titled "Budget 2021-22: SME Sector's Expectations and Achievements" on Sunday.
"The advance tax on raw materials imported by the industrial entrepreneurs of Bangladesh has been decreased from 4% to 3%," said Dr Mafizur, who presided over the conference.
"In order to protect the small and medium enterprises' interests, in some cases, duties and taxes on imports of finished products have been increased," he continued.
"Women entrepreneurs are getting more income tax exemptions. The tax-free income limit for women entrepreneurs has been increased from the current Tk50 lakh to Tk70 lakh. These will benefit SME entrepreneurs. In short: this year's budget is SME friendly," he said.
At the press conference, the SME Foundation official said 14 of the 63 proposals made by them have been accepted in the proposed budget.
Dr Md Mafizur Rahman said, "I will finalise the proposals that have not been accepted and send them again by tomorrow. Hopefully some of the proposals will be accepted from there too."
Asked which sub-sectors of the SME sector was given importance, SME Foundation Chairperson Dr Md Masudur Rahman said, "The importance of small and medium enterprises, especially the sectors that are doing well now, such as light engineering, agriculture, and food processing, has been reflected in the budget."
"Emphasis has been placed on the dairy industry and the need to promote women entrepreneurs," he added.
Dr Md Masudur Rahman said the foundation is conveying the SME entrepreneurs' demands to the policy makers.
He said, "Big industries get more attention in Bangladesh, because, according to of political-economic philosophy, large industry owners can present their demands to the policy makers more forcefully."
"The small and medium entrepreneurs could not express their views that strongly. The SME Foundation has consistently raised the small and medium enterprise's needs, aspirations and problems before the policy makers. Their demands are slowly reaching the policy makers," said Dr Md Masudur Rahman, the chief guest at the event,
The SME Foundation chairperson said the Digital Display Centre for the SME entrepreneurs will be inaugurated this month.