The proposed tax on Workers Profit Participation Fund (WPPF) would cost top 10 listed firms Tk200 crore in additional tax annually, speakers said at a budget discussion session on Wednesday.
GrameenPhone, the largest listed company, alone would have to pay around Tk100 crore added tax, said its Head of Public and Regulatory Affairs Hossain Sadat, while he was speaking as a panelist at the event organised by the Institute of Chartered Secretaries of Bangladesh (ICSB).
GrameenPhone, Walton Hi-Tech Industries, British American Tobacco, Square Pharmaceuticals, Robi, Renata, Beximco Ltd, LafargeHolcim, and Berger Paints Bangladesh Ltd are the top ten listed firms in terms of market capitalisation.
The move to impose tax on WPPF would have a huge financial impact on businesses that comply with the country's labour laws, speakers said and requested the government to opt out of the plan.
Representatives of various sectors urged the government not to increase duties on imported products that are not locally produced and have demand in industries.
The discussion programme held at a city hotel, chaired and moderated by ICSB Senior Vice President Azizur Rahman, had veteran accountants, former and incumbent government officials having expertise in fiscal, tax, customs, tariff and other policies as panelists, while a large number of chartered secretaries participated in the event.
ICSB President Muzaffar Ahmed in concluding remarks said the government's target for bank borrowing might fall short due to the liquidity situation.
ICSB members requested the government to allow their enrolment as income tax practitioners.