Today (21 November 2011) speakers at a workshop held in the conference Room, Center of Advanced Research in Sciences (CARS), 1st Floor, Mokarrom Bhaban, Dhaka University said that, there are huge discrepancies in tax system in the South Asian countries. They suggested that, to eliminate discrepancies between poor and rich of this region tax justice has to be established. The workshop titled “Tax Justice: South Asia perspective” is a part of the South Asian Social Forum and it was jointly organized by Jubilee South Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development in association with its Bangladeshi members equityBD, Supro and Voice.
The workshop was moderated by Willy D Costa of INSAF (India). Representatives from organizations of different South Asian countries made presentations on the tax systems of the respective countries.
Dr. Keshab of ANFPA (Nepal) mentioned that, Nepal government hugely depends on indirect tax. Still the inflation rate is 10.5%, the unemployment rate is 3%. 60% of government finance comes from revenues. But the scenario of socio economic is not up to the desired level. He suggested that, to overcome the problems the budget process should be participatory.
Syad Aminul Haque of equityBD (Bangladesh) mentioned that, According to the vision 2021 Bangladesh wants to be a country with middle level income. To achieve that goal, Bangladesh has to invest 30-35% of GDP. So, Bangladesh will need internal resource mobilization. He suggested direct tax as a well mean of that resource mobilization. He said that, VAT or other indirect taxes can not be solution, these taxes increase burden on poor.
Rakesh Mittal of India mentioned that, Indian tax system is always serving the interest of riches.
Among others Lidy Napcil of Jubille South Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development, Dr. Attiya Waris of Tax Justice Network (From Kenya) and Saeed Baluch of PFF (Pakistan) also spoke. (press release)