The budget did not raise the ceiling of tax-free income (Taka 2.5 lakh) while admitting an inflationary impact of 5.6%. On the other hand, the corporate tax rates including for the ailing banking sector have been significantly reduced by 2.5% to benefit the capitalists. Apart from direct taxes, oppressive and discriminatory measures of VAT will further deteriorate the financial health of the common people by increasing their cost of living. The VAT is imposed on services which middle class people generally avail while VAT on small sized flats is increased and that on the luxury flats is decreased. The measures clearly expose the government’s disregard towards peoples’ basic needs.
When general people will suffer from infliction of VAT and taxes, the ailing banking sector, which is controlled by around 25 rich families, will be indirectly bailed out with the wealth of the common people. Rather than recovering the looted public money, government is bailing out the banks by further extorting and injecting peoples’ wealth by force. Another aspect of the budget is the process of indebting the people as the interest payments, which are grave sin in Islam, get the fourth highest allocation of Tk 51,340 crore in the budget. Government aims to use the hard earned money of general people to service haram debt to ensure handsome return to usurious capitalists.
We can foresee that the budget will further widen the existing gap between the rich and the poor as the benefit of the budget will go to the privileged quarter while inflicting additional tax burden and inflationary pressure on general people.
Islam has brought unique economic rules and public finance policies to fund the necessary government expenditures and achieve equitable distribution of wealth. Islam does not allow the government to impose any form of income tax on citizens. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “The unjust tax collector will not enter Paradise.” (Abi Dawud). Also, the Islamic government is restricted by Shariah both in sector and priority, which curbs the government from capricious spending. The Khalifah (Caliph) is accountable to Allah (swt) for discharging the affairs of the people, and is responsible to distribute sufficient wealth to every person to meet his or her basic needs.
The Khilafah (Caliphate), which will be re-established soon by the leave of Allah (swt) as He (swt) has promised, is the only choice for the Muslims to adopt as their governing system, which can truly ensure equitable distribution of wealth among the people and end the unjust power of the capitalists to concentrate wealth and monopolize the economy. Islam ensures every citizen’s due right to wealth and abolishes all systems, thoughts, processes that lead to concentration of wealth. Allah (swt) says: