The National Board of Revenue (NBR) will apply the e-payment system to collect import tax if it surpasses Tk2 lakh.
"It will be effective from July 1," said NBR Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem.
"The measure has been taken to ensure transparency and accountability in revenue collection."
He was speaking at a seminar at the NBR conference room on the occasion of International Customs Day 2021.
At the event, the NBR awarded the World Customs Organization (WCO) Certificates of Merit to 17 officials and three institutions for their outstanding contributions to customs last year.
Presiding over the programme, Rahmatul Muneem said that a roadmap has been prepared by bringing the NBR under automation to ensure transparency in the revenue collection process.
"Our software is ready. This rule has been made mandatory from April 1 at ICD Customs House, Kamalapur," he said.
"We have taken the initiative to procure 13 scanners to ensure fast processing and transparency of import and export. The scanners will actually speed up product delivery activities."
Referring to the responsibility of officials and employees involved in the collection of revenue, including customs, even during the pandemic, the NBR chairman said, "Customs and VAT collection activities have not stopped even for a minute; they have kept the wheels of the country's economy running by keeping the supply chain intact."
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal virtually addressed the event as chief guest.
He said, "The NBR needs to meet the needs of traders. Then traders will also meet the demands of the NBR. This is because traders have certain reservations about the NBR."
The more we adopt business-friendly policies, the stronger will revenue collection be, he said.
Referring to Bangladesh's GDP growth at the highest level in the world in the last ten years, the finance minister said, "According to the plan up to 2035, revenue collection will have to increase gradually. I think the NBR will win the challenges in the future as it has won them in the past."
Sheikh Fazle Fahim, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI), who was the special guest at the meeting, said, "We will need to collect much more revenue if we graduate from the ranks of least developed countries. Then the tax-to-GDP ratio must be increased."
For this to be attained, he advised expanding the tax net without increasing the tax rate.
WCO honour to 20 individuals, organisations
Kazi Mostafizur Rahman, project director of the Customs, Excise and VAT Appeal Commissionerate, Dhaka-2, and VAT Online; Mohammad Moazzem Hossain, commissioner of Dhaka Customs House; and Mohammad Neyazur Rahman, additional director general of Customs Intelligence were awarded the WCO Certificate of Merit for their contributions to keeping the import-export and internal supply chain normal during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The other awardees are AKM Nurul Huda Azad, first secretary of the NBR; AKM Zahid Hossain, senior systems analyst; Abilin Sangma, deputy commissioner of the Dhaka North Commissionerate; Md Samsad Hossain, revenue officer of the Sylhet Commissionerate; Mohammad Shafiqul Islam, assistant revenue officer of Dhaka Customs House; Md Yakut Zahid, assistant revenue officer of ICD Customs; and Atiqur Rahman, assistant revenue officer of Chittagong Customs House.
Seven officers who passed away while on duty during the pandemic are: Rajshahi Commissionerate Revenue Officer Md Idris Ali Mandal, Dhaka Customs House Revenue Officer Md Khorshed Alam, Rangpur Commissionerate Revenue Officer Rahmat Ali, Chittagong Customs House Revenue Officer Jasim Uddin Majumder, Dhaka South Commissionerate Revenue Officer Anwar Jabed, Dhaka Customs House assistant revenue officer Md Kabir Hossain Sikder and Mongla Customs House officer late Md Kaikobad Sukani.
The three institutions that received the award are Chittagong Customs House, Dhaka Customs House and Bangladesh Medical Association.