img 1‘SUPRO’ organized a National Dialogue on 23rd December, 2018 in CIRDAP auditorium on Progressive taxation to reduce inequality. Dr. Atiur Rahman, Former Governor of Bangladesh Bank was present as chief guest. Mr. SM Monjur Rashid, Policy Advocacy Campaign and Communication Manager OXFAM in Bangladesh and eminent writer & researcher of taxation Mr. Shahjahan Siddiqui were present as special guests. In this event members and representatives of different civil society organizations, donors & development organizations, SUPRO national committee members, District committee members, representatives of different anti-tobacco alliances and journalists & media personalities were present at the occasion.

SUPRO has been conducting advocacy for a progressive tax system with its 45 district campaign areas since 2010. In this respect, SUPRO has conducted numbers of orientation program and consultation meetings at the grassroots level in 10 districts of Bangladesh since last two months on Budgetary process and Tax Justice issues to inculcate grassroots people’s so that they will play an active role in their periphery and hold them accountable to the local actors to ensure their basic entitlements and to make themselves an Active Citizens of the country.
SUPRO chairperson S.M Harun Or Rashid Lal, Chairperson of SUPRO was chaired the dialogue. M A Quader, SUPRO General Secretary thanked everybody in his welcome speech and seek coordination of everybody in this dialogue by expressing their meaningful thought. Ahmed swapon Mahmud, SUPRO national committee member moderated the program. SUPRO vice-chairperson Manju Rani Pramanik delivered the key note paper paper and Md. Azmal Hossain, Project coordinator has read out the results of Opinion Survey (conducted on 150 people’s in different segments of the society) outcome. After that the open discussion took place.
Dr. Atiur Rahman, Ex-governor, Bangladesh Bank opined that there is no alternative of progressive taxation to reduce inequality. He also emphasized the participation of civil society organization to create fair taxation culture and involves young generation for building up digital taxation culture as well. Digitalization process can make a huge difference, he added. He also referred the Agent Banking flourishing nature in our country today. SM Monjur Rashid of Oxfam in Bangladesh has told, Oxfam has been working to ensure hundred percent corporate tax collections, but we do not have seen such phenomena. Corporate sector and the super rich are used to dodge taxes regularly but no preventive measures have taken place. Poor people and mass people are providing taxes by the end but the big shots are evading taxes with unfair ways. To ensure tax justice and social justice we have to devise fair taxation system so that the immense pressure on in direct taxes (VAT) won’t affect mass people’s day to day life, he added. We have to know how and what ways the tax payers money are utilizing, he also mentioned. Dalia Das from Bureau of Economic Research, DU, Kamal Uddin Ahmed, ED, NATAB, Mahbuba Mahmud of Naripakkha and representatives of district branches of SUPRO also has given speeches regarding tax justice & inequality. Saiful Alam, Advocacy coordinator of OXFAM in Bangladesh also participated in the program.
In closing speech ‘SUPRO Chairperson S.M Harun Or Rashid Lal expected a dreamful and equal society with the active participation of everybody.

The recommendations are:

  • Tax Policy making and implementation process has to be participatory 
  • The tax offices have to be decentralized
  • Have to reduce dependency on VAT rather than income tax
  •  Submission of Return system has to be easier for mass people
  • Reports of taxation have to updated by the NBR regularly
  • Tax administration has to be accountable to the people. 
  • Have to stop corporate tax dodging.
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