CAMPUS project, Chilahati of Udayankur Seba Sangstha(USS) organized a round table discussion on pro-poor tax policy and budget decentralization on 12th September-2015 in USS training center, Nilphmari supported by Actionaid Bangladesh. The objective of this event is to critically engage civil society to raise their voice on pro-poor tax policy and decentralization of budgetary framework. More than 50 participants participated at the event actively. The categories of participants were advocate, journalist, teacher, development activist etc. Advocate Momtazul Haque, District Administrator of Nilphamari Zila Parishod was present as the chief guest and Advocate Mr. Zonab Ali, (Ex Member of Parliament) was present as the special guest. Mr Sarower Hossain, Principle, Moshiur Rahman Degree college chaired the event. Alauddin Ali, Executive Director of USS conducted the open discussion session. The concept note of the event was presented by Ripon Acharjo, program officer (Campaign), Action Aid Bangladesh.
In the open discussion session Mujibul Islam, member of Community Journalist group proposed that “The government should take initiatives to identify poor people and provide SMART card to them so that they can purchase products without VAT. Mr. Aminul Haque, journalist, Nilphmari said that “The people should be aware for tax collection and utilization & government must take steps to remove the corruption from tax & VAT administration. Mr Nikhil Roy Bhubon, Journalist said that government always increases the VAT due to easy collection process & there is no obligation on this issue. According to the concept note, in budget year 2013-14 VAT collection rate was 61.2% & income tax collection rate was 35.05%. Chief Guest of the event, Mr.Momtazul Haque said “At first we need to the decentralize power through district budget preparation & implementation but our government stopped the process this year. But we don’t know why.” He thanks USS for organizing the event and for creating critical awareness among the community people on pro-poor tax & budget issue. Special guest Mr. Jonab Ali asked to ensure active participation in local government budget session and assured to provide support to them to implement the budget for community development. Mr Sorower Hossain thanked to all for participating, providing suggestion & comments to the events for future improvement. He said, “We hope that USS will be continuing their program for raising awareness in the mass people.
Reported by: Kaykobad Hossain, Coordinatotor, Chilahati, USS