There are 1000 dreams in each of the eyes, though the book of fortune is empty at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter whether the head stays in place or not, but the life of spending the rent gets longer every year despite constant labor, a meager salary, and a piece of land. Children’s tuition, daily food costs, cost shock from illness, a desire for good or terrible food on a specific day, and a desire to vacation with loved ones but an unresponsive wallet The erratic lifestyle of middle-class people, those who have recently experienced the greatest financial hardship and crisis.
According to data, there are approximately 4 crore middle-class people or people with middle incomes in Bangladesh. Each and every individual with daily incomes of 1100 to 2000 taka has spent more than half of their monthly income on rice, oil, salt, and other commodities since the beginning of this year as a result of the high pricing of items in the market. In addition to that, there are costs associated with housing, transport, clothing, and other necessities.
The proposed budget has no good news for the vast majority of middle-class people; instead, we must endure government lies. AHM Mustafa Kamal, the finance minister, claimed that despite an increase in the number of middle-class citizens living in the nation, they are still not paying taxes.
However, according to NBR, just 85 lakh out of the 16.5 crore taxpayers who are officially registered in this country have submitted returns, or around 29 lakh. It cannot be argued that all those who do not pay taxes are included in this list if the medium-income group in the nation totals 4 crore.
In order to demonstrate their love of food, the middle class acquired the practice of eating cashew nuts, exotic fruits, and basmati rice. The sitio is now subject to taxes.
According to a 2019 forecast by the New York-based research company Wealth-X, Bangladesh’s rate of high-net-worth individuals will rise to become the third highest in the world in the following five years. Although the finance minister has relaxed the surcharge put in place on the assets of the wealthy, there was no really clear plan to address the tax evasion of these wealthy people in the budget. How have you helped the middle class, by the way?
VAT has made the lives of the middle class even more challenging in this period of rising inflation, from purchasing land-flats to everyday products like tissues, napkins, pens, shampoo, and soap. In order to demonstrate their love of food, the middle class acquired the habit of eating exotic fruits, cashew nuts, and basmati rice. Now they tax the products.
By doing this, the market cost for the month won’t change at all, even if the products on the market list don’t grow. Furthermore, the government has increased the price of cylinder gas by imposing duties and taxes, continuing a trend that began with price increases for gas and electricity a few months ago. The finance minister put a 15 percent VAT on pens because he was unkind to students, particularly kids and teenagers from middle-class households.
In addition, if no middle-class earner enjoys paying taxes, the finance minister imposed a charge of Tk 2,000 on the use of 38 different government services. The cost of living for the middle class has increased as a result, regardless of whether they choose to save money, invest it online, or do business that way.
Is this the final price? The nation’s workers receive a variety of benefits, such as housing rent, travel expenses, and medical expenses. The full value of these allowances was not taxed; nevertheless, the finance minister has now added a tax to that as well. The proposed budget for the fiscal year 2023–2024 exempts these exemptions from taxation.
After spending so much money, the finance minister doubled the registration tax on all sorts of land and apartments, putting an end to anyone’s fantasy of purchasing land or a flat by making a small amount of savings.
It appears from the proposed budget that the government has taken so many measures to support the middle class that the finance minister has provided a mechanism to quickly and easily move the middle class into the lower income bracket. Perhaps the finance minister has forgotten that the middle class makes the majority of the contributions in this country, from the entrepreneurial class to the well-established firms.
With their effort, sweat, and talent, they boost the economy’s productivity and quicken the pace of employment. One of the sources of riches for the wealthy is their savings. By extending the internal market, the consumption demand that a middle-class society generates on the market encourages investment.
Therefore, transparency and accountability should be ensured with a considerate eye toward the middle class, just as the government has the responsibility of expanding the social safety net of the poor in society and as state representatives try to increase the capital by giving taxes and policy concessions to the rich. It would be more accurate to state that the country has been able to secure stronger governance the more resilient its middle-income residents are.