The Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) has termed the proposed budget for 2005-2006 as Urban Centric . It said that even with the finance minister’s mind evidently focused on the next election, resource flow towards the rural economy has been limited in the budget document and high income urban people will enjoy most tax benefits, including the facility to whiten black money.
Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, executive director of CPD said it was an ‘economic injustice’ that people with an annual income of just above Tk 1.20 lakh would pay 10 per cent in taxes while black money holders would enjoy ‘tax amnesty’ by paying only 7.5 per cent tax. He observed that by backtracking from his pre-budget position on not allowing further whitening of black money, the finance minister not only undercut the credibility of other fiscal measures, but also demeaned his own prestige and honour. Dr Bhattacharya also apprehended that black money may be used to set up new banks and purchase state-owned enterprises ahead of the election. He, however, expected the finance minister to withdraw the proposal before the budget is passed in parliament. About the Center for Policy Dialogue's (CPD) criticism of the continuation of black money whitening provision, Saifur said he would make the same observation if he were in the position of the CPD.
Photo: Courtsey : The Daily Star