The requirement of submission of documents for getting 2.5% incentive against inward remittance of $5,000 and above was withdrawn to bring back the money laundered abroad, said the finance minister.
Besides, the government is all set to offer the opportunity to legalise people's unreported assets outside the country unquestioned in the next fiscal year (subject to paying taxes ranging 7%-15%).
Such initiatives are being taken to tackle the existing dollar crisis and bring back the money laundered abroad, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal told journalists following a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase (CCGP) on Thursday.
"I am hopeful that the money laundered abroad will return home as a result of these initiatives," he said.
Citing examples of different countries that have tried such methods to stabilise their economy and foreign exchange reserve, the minister said Indonesia is one of those countries who brought back a lot of laundered money in this way.
"This is a great opportunity for those who have laundered money or made illegal assets abroad," said the minister
As per the findings of the Global Financial Integrity (GFI), Bangladesh lost approximately $8.27 billion on an average annually between 2009 and 2018 from mis-invoicing of values of import-export goods by traders to evade taxes and move money illegally across international borders.
Regarding the dollar crisis, the minister said, "We need dollars, but things are not as severe as being portrayed. Our foreign exchange reserve is good enough and it is better than the neighbouring countries."
There was such a crisis back in 2001. In these cases, the Bangladesh Bank may increase security money or letter of credit margin for the imports of luxury goods.
However, there is no scope for raising tariffs other than raising regulatory duties to discourage imports, he added.
"Our main task in the upcoming budget will be to maintain economic stability through various policies and at the same time ensure the continuation of the development and growth trend," said the minister.
Speaking about the concerns expressed by traders regarding the gas and power price hike, Mustafa Kamal said, "Price hikes will definitely have an impact on the people. In order to soften the blow, we are sharing this with the consumers.
Regarding the rising inflation, he said, "The US and the UK have recently recorded 40-year high inflation. The situation in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Vietnam are the same.
"We are trying to lessen the people's sufferings. That is why pulses, oil and sugar are being supplied to one crore families at low prices," he said.
The Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase yesterday approved the commerce ministry's proposal to import 5,000 tonnes of lentil pulses at a cost of Tk53.75 crore for supplying it to one crore family card holders in the country. Shabnam Vegetable Oil Industries Ltd will supply these pulses at a price of Tk 107.50 per kg.
Tapan Kanti Ghosh, senior secretary at the commerce ministry, recently told The Business Standard that the product would be supplied to one crore family card holders in June.
The committee also approved the purchase of construction services for setting up a 25-storey commercial building at the Green City Residential Complex under the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant project of the Ministry of Housing and Public Works. Mazid Sons Construction Ltd will provide the services for Tk191.80 crore.
Besides, Petrobangla's proposal to import 33.6 lakh MMBTU LNG for Tk886.76 crore from Vitol Asia Pte Ltd, Singapore was also approved at yesterday's meeting.