Bangladesh government has taken a praiseworthy initiative with provision of tax rebate for companies employing members of the transgender community. Enactment of special tax incentives has been proposed in the new budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year with a view to providing employment to and improving living standards and socio-economic integration of the transgender (third gender) community.
While placing the budget in the parliament, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said, “I propose to insert necessary provision in the law to provide tax rebate amounting to 75 percent of the total salary paid to the workers from the third gender or 5 percent of payable tax, whichever is lower, to the employers who will employ 10 percent of their total workforce or more than 100 workers from the members of the third gender.”
Noting that the third gender community is lagging behind in socio-economic standards and is also keeping outside the mainstream society, the minister said social inclusion can be ensured by involving active people of the community into production-oriented occupations.
That is why the proposal of tax rebate has been made, he added.
Earlier, the National Board of Revenue made the proposal to mainstream transgender people by bringing about a change in people’s mindset about transgender persons who face discrimination and are marginalized in society.
Currently, there is no financial benefit on offer for businesses that employ transgender workers.
Welcoming government’s initiatives, members of the transgender community in Bangladesh told this correspondent that the government should also introduce low-interest or interest-free loans for the transgenders in starting their own businesses in the country. They said, once members of the transgender community receive such financial and loan benefits from various banks and financial institutions, they will be able to start various types of businesses alongside small and medium-scale manufacturing projects, which will create job opportunities for the community members.