Hoteliers seek tax exemption on goods and services

FBCCI Standing Committee on Hotels and Resorts Urges Government to Promote Bangladesh in Tourism Sector

TBS Report

February 22, 2022, 6:20 PM

Last modification: February 22, 2022, 6:32 p.m.

Front view of the complex with the outdoor swimming pool


Front view of the complex with the outdoor swimming pool

Owners of hotels, resorts and guesthouses, one of the sectors most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, on Tuesday applied for a tax exemption on equipment and products they import for ensure modern facilities for foreign tourists.

At the first meeting of the FBCCI Standing Committee on the development of hotels, motels, resorts and bed and breakfasts held at the office of the FBCCI, the businessmen said that they should pay VAT on service and a 37% tax on income, although hotels and motels are an integral part of tourism, according to a press release

They also claimed that this huge tax burden hinders the further development of this sector. And a reduction in taxes and value added tax (VAT) would help them provide better services.

Addressing the meeting virtually, the Senior Vice President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), Mostofa Azad Chowdhury Babu, urged the standing committee to uncover opportunities, problems and solutions possible in this sector and to submit them to the FBCCI in the form of a proposal.

He said the issue would be discussed in the government decision-making body that would review the proposal.

FBCCI Senior Vice President Mostofa Azad Chowdhury Babu also said hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts were among the sectors most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The sector has also played an important role in obtaining foreign currency.

Committee members demanded the waiver of duties and taxes to make up for the loss as the Covid-19 pandemic nearly destroyed the business of hotels, resorts and bed and breakfasts.

To attract foreign tourists to Bangladesh, the committee demanded the relaxation of the requirement to test for Covid-19 within 48 hours before the flight and the simplification of the visa process.

Committee members blamed inadequate branding for the non-development of tourism in Bangladesh and urged the government to promote Bangladesh’s branding in the tourism sector through the Tourism Board.

At the meeting, they also called for the necessary allocation in the budget and formulation of a policy for the development of guesthouses.

Khabir Uddin Ahmed, chairman of the committee, said that at least three of the 17 sustainable development goals announced by the United Nations are directly linked to tourism. Other objectives also depend indirectly on the development of tourism. Therefore, to achieve the SDGs by 2030, the country’s tourism industry must be developed.

FBCCI Director, Syed Moazzem Hossain, called for ensuring quality services to tourists at reasonable prices in hotels and resorts and also called for apprenticeship programs to create a skilled workforce .

FBCCI Secretary General Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque said FBCCI attaches due importance to tourism development. He also put the tourism sector on the agenda of the Canada-Bangladesh Joint Task Force.

Khandaker Committee Co-Chair Ruhul Amin, Taofiq Uddin Ahmed, Mohiuddin Helal, AHM Aminul Islam Bhuiyan, Md Mahbub Alam, Mohammad Jahangir Alam, Mehdi Amin Chowdhury and other members were also present at the meeting.

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