Tax Exemption Riddle
GB paid Tk 10cr in taxes
Grameen Bank, for the first time, had paid Tk 10 crore in taxes to ensure compliance for a period of six months, when there was no tax exemption for the microfinance
pioneer, said NBR officials yesterday.
The Nobel Peace Prize winning entity deposited the money to state coffers for the period from January 2011 to June 2011.
Grameen Bank had enjoyed tax exemption since its start in 1983. But due to a stand-off between the government and Prof Muhammad Yunus-founded Grameen Bank, the
government delayed the decision whether it would extend the tax-free facility after the privilege had expired in December 2010.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) again exempted the bank from tax payment with a retrospective effect from July 1, 2011 to December 31, 2015, according to a
circular issued by the government on June 21, 2012.
However, the tax administration will not refund Grameen Bank the Tk 10-crore tax, an NBR official yesterday confirmed.
The issue came under the spotlight after NBR had asked its field offices for tax-related information on Grameen Bank’s 54 associated but legally independent entities.
Last week, the Grameen Bank Commission sent a letter to the tax authority for information on tax records on Grameen Bank’s related organisations.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Bank has instructed Grameen Bank to find out how much on salary and other amenities did Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus avail every month
during his time as the managing director of Grameen Bank, past his retirement age of 60, said a Grameen Bank official.
In a letter yesterday, the central bank asked Grameen Bank to monetise the facilities the Nobel Laureate had enjoyed before he stepped down in May last year.
A finance ministry official said it had sent a letter to the central bank on Sunday, seeking the information, as it had no capacity to know it on its own.
Grameen Bank will have until the next week to comply with the central bank instruction, said an official of the microlender.
On August 2, the cabinet directed the finance ministry to inform it immediately about the salaries and benefits that Prof Yunus had received during his tenure as the
bank’s managing director past the retirement age and whether those facilities were in line with the bank’s rules.
Courtesy of The Daily Star