Black money won’t turn white even if you shake hands on the heads of bad guys: CPD

Research institute Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) believes that a vicious cycle has developed in the country with tax evaders, debt defaulters and corrupt people. The organization also believes that black money can’t be brought into the economy even after slapping the head of this vicious circle every year.

Honorable Fellow of CPD in response to journalists’ questions at the post-budget press conference. Mostafizur Rahman said this. The press conference was held at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center in the capital on Friday (June 7) at noon.

During the question and answer session at the press conference, a journalist wants to know whether the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 conflicts with the election manifesto of Awami League or not. In response, Professor Mostafizur Rahman said, ‘As far as I remember, it was clearly stated in chapter 3 of Awami League’s election manifesto that they will announce zero tolerance policy against fraud, debt defaulters and tax evaders. But now the opportunity to whiten black money is in complete contradiction with the election manifesto of the party.

He said, Awami League is a traditional party. Such a move in the budget is contrary to the philosophy of this political party. A vicious cycle has been created in Bangladesh with the combination of those who are tax evasion and debt evasion. Will this evil circle be brought back to the economy every year by patting its hands on the head with some benefits, or will it go towards the declaration of Jihad against the corrupt in the election manifesto of Awami League? In the budget, we saw that in which direction they went. It is very sad. Stopping it is a big political decision. Hopefully, Awami League leaders will do it.

Pointing out that besides the opportunity to whiten black money, the corrupt have been given a greater opportunity this time, he said, earlier there was ambiguity as to whether the ACC or any other organization would be able to question or take action on the black money after it was whitened. Turns out—they laundered the money with taxes, but the ACC could have caught it. But this time it has also been completely closed. No one else can question it.

Prof. Mostafizur commented that the regular tax payer has been scolded in the budget and said, ‘Then what is the matter? An honest, dutiful citizen, who pays his taxes on time every year, is vilified. Because those who are not paying taxes year after year, they are being given a chance with 15 percent tax benefit. And the one who is honest has to count 30 percent.

This honorable fellow of CPD said, this policy of making black money white is morally unacceptable and economically it is not fruitful. Year after year money is not coming even with this opportunity. If I don’t pay tax now, if after a few years it will be 15 percent, why should I pay now? This syndicate thinks that I will give this too (15 percent) or why. They have taken money out of the country.

CPD Executive Director Fahmida Khatun highlighted various aspects of the budget at the beginning of the press conference. Honorary Fellow Professor Mostafizur Rahman, Research Director Dr. Khandkar Golam Moazzem, Senior Research Fellow Taufiqul Islam Khan and others.