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Tax anomalies at cattle markets go against Qurbani spirit: Experts    

Abdur Rahman Jahangir & M Jahangir Alam, UNB Staff Writers 

Tuesday 21 August, 2018 10:18:07 am

Tax anomalies at cattle markets go against Qurbani spirit: Experts    

Photo: Zabed Hasnain Chowdhury/UNB

Dhaka, Aug 20 (UNB) – Though there is a fixed rate for collecting and paying tax (hasil) after the purchase of sacrificial animals at cattle markets, some leaseholders and cattle buyers resort to trickery to make petty personal gains in contrast to the spirit of Qurbani.

Visiting different cattle markets in the capital city, it was seen that some cattle buyers show the prices of cattle lower than the actual ones while paying tax to minimise the cost, while some leasers allegedly collect extra money than the fixed one.

Photo: Zabed Hasnain Chowdhury/UNB

Many cattle market leaseholders in most districts also charge higher than the fixed rate for lack of adequate monitoring by administration while some buyers engage in haggle by lowering their cattle prices to pay less tax, according reports by UNB district correspondents.

As per the rate fixed by the government in the capital, the leaseholders can charge maximum five percent of the total price of any animal as tax while the district administration set it ranging from Tk 200-500 for cows and buffalos and Tk 75-150 for goats and sheep.

But the leasers are collecting up to Tk 2,000 per cow and buffalo, and Tk 500 per goat and sheep from the vendors depending on the prices of the sacrificial animals.

As the buyers collect hasil depending on cattle prices, some buyers also show the cattle prices lesser than the actual ones to dodge tax, report  UNB correspondents.

Talking to UNB, Mujahidul Islam, a resident of Jatrabari, said he bought a cow from Postagala cattle market at Tk 60,000 and had to pay Tk 3,500 as tax, up Tk 500 from the maximum rate fixed by the government. 

Photo: Zabed Hasnain Chowdhury/UNB

Another cattle buyer Jamal Hossain, a private job holder, at Uttar Khan Shahed Nagar Housing cattle market said the leaser collected Tk 4,000 as hasil from him as he purchased a bull at Tk 70,000. As per the government rate, Jamal should have paid maximum Tk 3,500.

Similar allegations were raised by cattle buyers at some other markets like Old Dhaka’s Rahmatganj, Dhupkhola, Shanir Akhra, Shyampur, Uttar Khan Moinar Tek, Bashundhara and Khilkhet.

Asked why they take additional money, Jahangir, a counterman, at Rahmatganj said they usually do not charge additional tax from those who buy big cattle. “We’ve an observation that some people who buy medium-sized cattle mention Tk 10,000-15,000 less than the actual price. So, we charge extra from such buyers.”

Jahangir’s observation was found to be true by following some cattle buyers at different markets.

When asked about the reason for dodging some tax by lessening the actual price of the sacrificial animal he purchased, Abdul Halim at Khilaket market, said he did it as the leasers collect higher tax than the fixed rate.

Another buyer, Alimuzzamn, at Shanir Akhra market said he showed Tk 15,000 less from the actual price of his cattle as he could not buy it within his budget.

Contacted, Chief Estate Officer of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Aminul Islam said leasers can in no way collect extra tax from buyers than the fixed rate.

He said they will intensify their monitoring on cattle markets to check such malpractice.

Taking to UNB, Sheikh Mashuk Rahman, leaseholder of Shyampur cattle market, denied the allegation of taking more tax than the government fixed five percent. “Such incident can happen if collector suspects that the buyers lower the prices to pay less hasil.” 

Ishak Mia, a leaseholder of 300 Feet Bashundhara Housing Cattle Market, said they caught some buyers red-handed while trying to pay less hasil lessening the prices of their animals. “Some people have a tendency to pay less hasil by resorting to lies. We can’t always check such incidents.”

Photo: Bayazid Akter/UNB

He, however, dismissed the allegation of charging higher tax than the fixed one. “I’ll take action if any tax collector indulges in such malpractice.”

Islamic scholars think if anyone dodges tax while buying cattle resorting to falsehood or any trick it will simply spoil the sacrifice.

Talking to UNB, Pesh Imam of Baitul Mukarram National Mosque Mufti Maulana Ehsanul Haque said giving tax while buying sacrificial animals from any market is part of Qurbani (sacrifice). “The sacrifice of those who resort to any anomalies during paying tax will not be appropriate as per Islam.”

“Qurbani is a state of mind. If the sacrifice is not made with a clean mind and sanctity, it will end up in eating just meat, not sacrifice for Allah. People can’t make Allah happy by deceiving anyone or indulging in irregularities,” he said.

Dr Mohammad Shahidul Islam, an associate professor of Dhaka University’s Arabic department, said imams should make people aware of it delivering sermons on the issue in mosques so that people do not stain their sacrifice by resorting to anomalies like hasil dodging.