Rights groups demand to publish whitepaper on smuggled money

Dhaka, Nov 12: Some 20 right-based groups on Wednesday demanded of the government for publishing a white paper on illicit finance flow to abroad including government’s action strategies to recovery this money from different Tax Heavens countries like Malaysia, Switzerland and Canada.

The right groups made their demand through a human chain formed in front of Jatiya Press Club.

They also criticized the government initiative for imposing VAT expansion and its foreign resource mobilization planning which created debt burden and peoples plight in their livelihood. Rather stopping illicit finance flow that will be easy to necessary resource mobilization they said.

The civil society gr4oups also demanded of the government to ensure Tax Transparency of MNCs (Multinational Companies) in Bangladesh.

The human chain is moderated by Mosafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD.

Among others, Ahsanul Karim, Subol Sarkar of Bhumihin Somity, Prodip Kumar Roy of Online Knowledge Society, M Hafizul Islam of PSI (Public Service International), Aminur Rasul Babul of Unnayan Dhara Trust and Syed Aminul Hoque from EquityBD spoke at the human chain.

Ahsanul Karim said that UK-based research organization-“Tax Justice Network” published a report on Financial Secrecy Index (FSI)-2014 as on 2-November, 2015.

The report revealed the role of 92 countries in maintaining financial secrecy and the top ten countries are Switzerland, Hong Kong, USA, Singapore, Cayman Island-UK, Luxemburg, Lebanon, Germany, Bahrain and Dubai.

He mentioned that the developed countries are paying $135 billion to poor countries as foreign aid in exchange of $1-$1.6 trillion as illicit financial flow to the developed countries, i.e. against every US$1 of foreign aid, US$10 is siphoned off to the developed countries.

He also added, in every year an amount of BDT 200 billion through hundi, BDT 100-160 billion through miss invoicing and about BDT 500 billion through money laundering to other countries. Thus govt. is losing huge amount of revenue in every year.

M Hafizul Islam of PSI said that, a total of US$18.41 billion had been siphoned off Bangladesh in 10 years since 2003 through trade miss-invoicing, corruption, bribery and tax evasion by a report of Washington-based Global Financial Integrity (GFI).

That means, government could earn near about BDT 360 billion as additional revenue and would able to invest it in the development program.

News Source: 12 November 2015, The NewsBangla

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