Deputy commissioners, who are playing roles of executive heads of districts, have been urged to help the National Board of Revenue collect value-added tax from different shops in the rural area, by installing electronic fiscal devices (EFD).
The devices, also known as e-cash registers, are now being used at a few thousand outlets in Dhaka and Chattogram, though the National Board of Revenue made it mandatory for many types of shops, particularly in urban areas, to curb tax dodging.
Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque and Prime Minister's Economic Affairs Adviser Dr Mashiur Rahman made the call in a meeting with the district magistrates in the capital on Tuesday.
"The purchasing power of the people residing in rural areas has increased. They are now buying a lot of things. But the government receives a little from the amount they spend," said Mozammel.
Besides, there remained a question whether the amount of the shop-owners deposited revenue (VAT) was exact or not, he added.
The minister asked the DCs to ensure the EFDs also at small-scale shops for the collecting actual amount of the revenue.
He instructed the officials to take necessary steps accordingly, simultaneously with the Revenue Board efforts.
"The government will supply the devices if they (shop-owners) fail to buy it on their own. They would pay in instalments"
Appreciating the minister, Dr Mashiur Rahman said the proposal was good.
The NBR is working to set up the devices in different outlets. "However, it is yet to cover all the eligible outlets." "We will reach the rural shops, but there are some technical issues, which we are now trying to fix," he added.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina virtually inaugurated the three-day annual conference of DCs, in which officials from 55 ministries took part. A total of 25 sessions are supposed to be held at the event.
In the conference held at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium, the deputy commissioners placed some proposals. One of them was to form committees involving them to supervise the implementation of different development projects in their respective districts.
However, Planning Minister MA Mannan refused the proposal, saying the DCs had the rights, by the existing laws, to do that and there was no need to form committees.
Project officials discuss different matters with respective DCs. "If you (DCs) think something is going wrong, please notify the ministry concerned," added Mannan.
The planning minister said his ministry would expand offices to division and district levels in phases.
Meanwhile, the liberation war affairs minister said his ministry was planning to build two monuments at Chattogram's Kalurghat and airport areas to commemorate the freedom fighters.
He asked the DCs to inform the ministry if they found suitable land for the proposed establishments in the area.