HI-TECH PARKS : Muhith bins plea for further VAT waiver

Staff Correspondent

Finance minister AMA Muhith has turned down a request to provide additional value-added tax benefits against services for the investors and developers of the country’s hi-tech parks beyond the existing VAT waiver.
Muhith on Sunday rejected a plea of Information and Communication Technology Division of the posts and telecommunications ministry that sought additional VAT waiver on services including electricity, gas, water and supply of goods for investors and developers of the parks.
Development work of two hi-tech parks — one at Kaliakoir in Gazipur and another in Jessore — are under way.
The Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority has also approved development of six parks and it has also plan for establishment of 12 more parks in several districts to promote development of IT and information technology-enabled service industries.
In October last year, the National Board of Revenue allowed full VAT exemption on supply of goods, except petroleum products, and 80 per cent exemption on electricity bills for investors in the parks.
But the ICT Division sought additional VAT exemption in consistent with the benefits given to the economic zones under the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority.
The facilities include 80 per cent VAT exemption on gas bills and water bills for investors and 100 per cent VAT exemption on supply of goods, 80 per cent waiver on bills of electricity, gas and water for developers.
Finance ministry officials said VAT wing of the revenue board had recently sent a summery to the finance minister seeking the government’s decision on the issue.
But Muhith replied negatively to the idea of providing any further waiver to the investors and developers.
‘I think, there is no need to provide any additional tax exemption for the sector,’ he wrote on the summery paper.
Earlier, the government provided various types of tax benefits including duty exemption on import and income tax exemption for the investors and developers of the parks.

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