Stock market shouldn’t be neglected in budget: Mannan

MA Mannan

Planning minister MA Mannan on Sunday said that capital market should not be neglected in the budget as the market can contribute significantly to the development of the country’s progressive economy.

He made the comment at a post-budget discussion jointly organised by Capital Market Journalists Forum and the Bangladesh Merchant Bankers Association in the capital.

His comments came after stock brokers and merchant bankers expressed their disappointment over the budget proposal for financial year 2023-24 saying that the budget neglected the stock market as nothing about the capital market was in the budget speech.

The intermediaries said that although no new imposition had been made on the stock market in the budget, no incentives had been provided either.

‘‘Stock market was neglected in the budget’ is a significant message and I will convey it to relevant authorities on your behalf,’ the minister said.

He said, ‘To reach a developed economy, we need capital. The stock market can be a source of that capital,’ he said.

Mannan also expressed agreement with recent demands of abolishing advanced income tax.

He said, ‘We have a more skilled workforce, better technology and a better business community, so now we don’t need advanced income tax; it can be abolished. Discussion with the relevant authorities can lead to this decision.’

He also said, ‘Dual taxation is not appropriate and we should delve deeper into it.’

He believed that multinational companies should be listed on the stock market and emphasised the need for increased pressure on the matter.

Md Sayadur Rahman, president of the BMBA, said, ‘The positive aspect of the budget for the stock market is that no new charges have been imposed. However, the disappointing aspect is that there is no incentive for the stock market, not even any discussion about it.’

He demanded an increase in difference in tax rates of listed and unlisted companies in the proposed budget.

He stated that only 7.50 percentage points were not motivating the companies to get listed.

Despite having potential, the country’s stock market seemed unable to become driving force of the economy, said Dhaka Stock Exchange chairman Hafiz Muhammad Hasan Babu, adding that a little policy change by the government could bring significant positive changes on the stock market.

Asif Ibrahim, chairman of Chittagong Stock Exchange, Richard Di Rosario, president of the DBA, and Ziaur Rahman, president of CMJF, among others, spoke at the event.

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