The Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) Friday expressed deep concern over the scopes in the proposed budget to get undisclosed income legalised by paying certain amounts of tax.
In a press release, TIB said, "In the name of employment generation, boosting investment, revenue and retrieving the economic momentum, those scopes legalize black money whitening and money laundering."
The organization urged the government to cancel the proposed scopes, terming them illicit, discriminatory and anti-constitutional.
TIB also expressed disappointment saying the proposed budget lacked stringent measures to check health sector corruption and ensure good governance. The national budget for the 2020-21 also does not have enough outlay for health even in this pandemic.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal proposed introduction of an incentive for investment of undisclosed or black money to bank deposits, savings certificates, shares, bonds or any other securities on paying 10 percent taxes.
And for that, no government agency will raise any question in this regard.
Dr Iftekharuzzaman, executive director of the Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), said this was totally the opposite and contradictory to the zero tolerance to corruption as declared by the prime minister.
"Such facilities for years neither benefited the economy nor enhanced revenue collection, let alone investment. Instead the government is making its stance questionable pampering such illicit arrangements."
Referring to the country constitution, TIB also noted such arrangements were also discriminatory against people who earn the fair penny. "It seems the government is giving a licence to corruption and illicit means and is encouraging people for getting involved in it," said Dr Iftekharuzzaman.
TIB is also critical of the budget proposal to impose a 50 percent tax on the proven amount of money laundering by over and under invoicing.
"Budget formulators did not consider how this will hurt rule of law and government's commitment at international level. No matter how the government defends the moves, these are self-contradictory, discriminatory and anti-constitutional actions," said the TIB executive director
It can be said the government announced a corruption-friendly budget, he added and hoped that the government would back off from this suicidal position.