The ten largest listed firms would face more than Tk200 crore additional tax annually if a budget proposal to make corporate contributions to workers' profit participation fund (WPPF) taxable is finalised, business representatives said at a budget discussion on Wednesday.
Grameenphone, the largest listed company, alone would have to pay around Tk100 crore additional tax, said its Head of Public and Regulatory Affairs Hossain Sadat, while he was speaking as a panellist at the event organised by the Institute of Chartered Secretaries of Bangladesh (ICSB).
Grameenphone, Walton Hi-Tech Industries, British American Tobacco, Square Pharmaceuticals, Robi, United Power, Renata, Beximco Ltd, LafargeHolcim, and Berger Paints Bangladesh Ltd are the top ten listed firms in terms of their market capitalisation, according to EBL Securities.
The move to impose a tax on WPPF would have a huge financial impact on businesses that comply with the country's labour laws, said the speakers. They requested the government to discard 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.
ICSB Senior Vice President Azizur Rahman chaired and moderated the discussion held at a city hotel. Veteran accountants, former and incumbent government officials having expertise in fiscal, tax, customs, tariff and other policies attended the event as panellists, while a large number of chartered secretaries participated in the event.
ICSB President Muzaffar Ahmed in his concluding remarks said the government's target for bank borrowing might fall short due to the liquidity situation.
ICSB members also requested the government to allow their enrolment as income tax practitioners.