The IMF has expressed its dissatisfaction over the snail pace of the government's ongoing revenue administration reforms and sought a specific timeframe from the authority for completing the tasks.
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission during its recent meeting with the National Board of Revenue (NBR) pushed the authority for fixing a deadline for implementing the reforms, an official source informed the FE.
The NBR authority, however, unwilling to commit a specific deadline, said the reforms would follow a natural course in accordance with the due proceedings, said the official.
"The NBR informed the IMF officials that the reforms could not be achieved overnight," a senior official said, quoting the NBR authority.
The IMF has been pursuing the government to pace up its ongoing revenue administration reforms as per its agreement with the multilateral donor.
The reform programmes include rationalisation of tariff structure, change of jurisdiction in revenue administration and streamlining the functionaries of large taxpayers' units (LTUs) for boosting government's revenue collection.
The IMF delegation also reiterated the need for immediate finalisation of an organogram for the value added tax (VAT) wing of the LTU.
It argued that the unit was unable to play the role desired of it in generating revenues due to absence of a well-defined operational structure.
Though the LTU for value added tax (VAT) was established in early October, 2004, its organogram is yet to be finalised.
Another NBR official confirmed that the draft organgram was expected to get approval from the cabinet committee shortly.
Besides, the IMF officials laid emphasis on a greater 'interaction' between the income tax and VAT units of the LTU to make both the wings operationally sound.
It suggested introduction of a joint auditing system and greater exchange of information between the VAT and income tax wings to make those more effective.
Moreover, the Fund stressed on forging a deep correlation between the existing systems of Tax Identification Number (TIN) and Business Identification Number (BIN), an NBR official said.
The Board officials said the authority has already taken necessary steps including reorganisation of its administrative set-up and intensification of its intellence cell to prevent revenue leakage.
Besides, process is on to reshuffle the NBR administration set-up, they said, adding that transfers and promotions of a good number of senior officials have already taken place.
Apart from those, the NBR has recently set up a central audit cell to bring its entire revenue auditing systems under a single roof.
The authority took these steps in line with its ongoing revenue sector reforms, pursued earlier by the IMF, officials admitted.
The success of the reforms, among other things, is linked with the disbursement of the forth instalments under the IMF's Poverty Reduction Growth Facility (PRGF) fund for Bangladesh, officials said.
Earlier, the IMF's executive board approved Bangladesh's three-year PRGF arrangement on June 20, 2003 for an amount equivalent to around US$ 507.7 million.