Finance Bill passed with some amendments

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Dhaka, June 29: After bringing some changes and amendments of tax and customs duties, the Finance Bill 2016 has been passed through voice votes on Wednesday.

The amendments brought to the budget proposals including a cut to 0.7 percent from 1.5 percent in tax at source for exports, including ready made garments.

The bill, introduced in the House on June 2, which passed through voice votes after Deputy Speaker Md Fazle Rabbi Miah placed it for voice vote before the House.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, during budget discussion on Monday, requested Finance Minister AMA Muhith to make several changes to the proposed budget.

In his concluding speech on Wednesday, Muhith said all the changes the prime minister had proposed had been accepted.

The Bill exempted ICT firms from paying VAT on the income from rent of their office spaces or other facilities. Finance Minister AMA Muhith had proposed 15 percent VAT on the rent.

The prime minister and Leader of the Opposition Raushan Ershad were present during the passage of the Bill.

Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury presided over the session when Prime Minister Hasina delivered her speech, but the deputy speaker later chaired the session.

Muhith had placed the Finance Bill along with the Tk 3.41 trillion national budget for 2016-17 in Parliament on June 2.

Deputy Leader of the House Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury and leader of the opposition spoke on the budget on Wednesday morning.

Opposition bench member Kazi Feroz Rashid proposed publishing the bill for eliciting public opinion by July 5 while JP lawmakers Nurul Islam Omar, Nurul Islam Milon, Fakhrul Imam, Noor-e-Hasnat Lily Chowdhury and Mohammad Mamunur Rashid and independent lawmaker M Rustom Ali Farazi spoke for giving time till July 20.

Members from the opposition bench including Fakhrul Imam and Kazi Feroz Rashid placed some amendment proposals to the bill.

However, the proposals for publishing the bill for eliciting public opinion and amendments were rejected in voice votes.

The House accepted some amendments of the Money Bill, 2016 brought by lawmakers Gazi Golam Dastgir of Narayanganj-1, M Shahiduzzaman Sarkar of Naogaon-2, Mahmood-us-Samad Chowdhury of Sylhet-3, M Shahab Uddin of Molvibazar-1 and Fakhrul Imam of Mymensingh-8.

 The budget for the new fiscal year, beginning on July 1, will be passed in Parliament on June 30.

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