Stop capital flight (The News Today (Bangladesh))

The reported flight of an estimated US$4 billion by foreign workers from Bangladesh is indeed a national shame. That the overpopulated country is bankrupt so far as skills of its population is amply evident from this. It is not really understandable what hundreds of universities, technical colleges and institutes have done to our workforce in all these years.

The government owes an explanation why it miserably failed to meet our skill needs at a time when millions are remaining unemployed. A large number of foreigners come to Bangladesh every year with tourist or business visa, but start working in private sectors including readymade garment, IT and other manufacturing industries, but during their departure, they do not pay any taxes, making a huge revenue loss for the country. Many of the foreigners even do not have any idea about the country’s tax structure and they also remain totally unaware about that.

So, it’s the employers, who can encourage foreigners about their tax obligations during appointments so they are bound to pay tax properly. We also share concern over such capital flight. Bangladeshi citizens deposited Tk 3,236 crore in secret Swiss bank accounts in 2013, as disclosed by a Swiss National Bank report which is 62% higher compared to the previous year 2012.

Under the My Second Home programme of Malaysia, a total of about 2370 Bangladeshi citizens had taken this advantage from 2002 to 2013. About Tk 10,000 crore has been transferred to Malaysia for flat and plot purchase. It is time for the government to prepare a white paper and making it public on how many Bangladeshi people have taken Malaysian Second Home and other citizenship process through financial transaction from the country.

It needs to develop legal procedure and stop illicit finance through Hundi and dismiss the staff of government and non-government offices who are involved in this illegal process. An estimate said, a total of US$18.41 billion had been siphoned out of Bangladesh in last 10 years since 2003 through trade mis-invoicing, corruption, bribery and tax evasion. The government could earn near about Tk 36,000 crore as additional revenue and will able to invest in development programmes if the money could be brought back into the country.