Corporate Tax

5% corporate tax minimize for using 100 transgender folks

Members of the transgender community were previously only registered as women or men on the national electoral roll Mehedi Hasan / Dhaka grandstand

The government is considering this move to encourage the integration of the third-sex community into the majority society

In the upcoming budget for fiscal year 2021-22, corporation tax will be waived if a company recruits 100 members of the transgender community commonly known in Bangladesh as the hijras.

According to officials from the Treasury Department and the National Board of Revenue (NBR), the government is considering taking this move to promote the integration of the third-sex community into society and the economy.

“This is a wonderful decision, but we are asking for proper oversight from the Department of Social Affairs,” said Evan Ahmed Kotha, a leader in the transgender community.

“This opportunity will help us if it’s properly implemented. However, this should not be wasted under the guise of public relations. In the past, many organizations increased their face value by hiring a member or two while leaving most of the hijra community excluded, ”added Kotha.

Also read – OP-ED: Taking care of the trans community

Another transgender woman, Bonoful, said the Hijra community had been going through a very difficult time due to the pandemic.

“We can neither beg nor work. But when companies keep us busy, we can work like other people, ”she added.

She also urged the authorities to get direct long-term assistance such as education, technical training, and business loan support.

Mostafiz Uddin, Managing Director of Denim Expert Limited, said, “We have a social responsibility to them and have set an example for other companies to be encouraged.

“Apart from the economy, every entrepreneur has an obligation to his people. A tax exemption could certainly encourage large companies to look into it, ”he said.

The World Economic Forum recognized Denim Expert for its contribution to the social inclusion of the transgender community.

However, some are suspicious of adaptability.

A member of the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “Undoubtedly, this is a laudable decision. But in reality, employment in factories and companies is a challenge for them due to the mindset of majority society and the lack of educational background of the Hijras.

Before they can work, companies must train and educate these people.

But they can easily work as operators, security guards or helpers, he added.

Dr. Muhammad Shahadat Hossain Siddiquee, development policy researcher and professor of economics at Dhaka University, said: “Ultimately, business people will consider the marginal costs and benefits of employing 100 transgender people. Only feasibility will enable companies to benefit from this 5% corporate tax exemption. “

Also read – Government will expand the social safety net in the upcoming budget

“Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is about leaving no one behind, and to address that reality, the private sector needs to move forward to create better and more inclusive jobs,” he added

He also stressed that developing a humane psyche is a prerequisite before using hijras in the workplace.

According to the Ministry of Social Affairs, there are around 11,000 hijras in Bangladesh.

According to the Bandhu Welfare Society, a number of transgender members are currently employed in media organizations, hotels, private universities as security guards, in NGOs in various positions, in the service sector including health, beauty and food, and in the leather and clothing sectors.

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