No scope to whiten black money: Muhith

“It is a useless demand,” Muhith told a group of journalists during an informal talk about the next budget, which will be presented at 12.30pm on Thursday.

The scope was extended several times but not much money was legalised, he said. However, he said the scope for declaring undeclared money with 25 percent fine will continue.

Once the budget is placed, Muhith will move on to review the rate of interest on savings instrument. “It will be adjusted with the market rate.”

The minister also gave an idea about the income tax, VAT and customs duty rates in the upcoming budget.

Those who are currently paying corporate tax at less than 37.5 percent will not see any change, but those who are paying at 40 percent and 42.5 percent rate will see a decline.

“The 45 percent corporate tax rate will remain for mobile phone operators and tobacco companies,” said Muhith.

There will be no change in income tax, the finance minister said. To give the local industries protection, some customs duties will be increased.

He said he will give an outline on VAT in the next budget. “There will be three rates: low, middle and high.” The highest rate will be 15 percent.

But next fiscal year there will be five slabs for VAT, down from existing nine. The budget for next fiscal year will be more or less Tk 4.60 lakh crore.

In the next budget, Muhith will provide an outline for the universal pension system, which will be introduced primarily in the organised sector.

Asked about budget implementation this fiscal year, the finance minister said it will be 92 percent, which is satisfactory.

The budget for fiscal 2018-19 will be passed in parliament on June 28.

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