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Supplementary tax can be imposed on Padma Bridge

Bangladesh, Padma Bridge, Gopalganj, Rajbari, Putra Jaya, Dhaka

Opinion

Supplementary tax can be imposed on Padma Bridge

One of the best ways of collecting the investment on the Padma Bridge returned is imposing supplementary tax on expected revenue and state’s expenditures on this dream project of the country. It may be mentioned here that, during nineties when the government decided to erect a bridge on the river Ganges, five percent supplementary tax was imposed on all revenue earning of the country. Similarly, five percent supplementary tax can be imposed on the Padma Bridge for the next two decades, which will help the government in getting a major portion of the investment returned, while by imposing supplementary tax on this dream project of the nation, the government possibly can reduce the existing toll on users who would use this bridge for a convenient passage from and through the southern part of Bangladesh.

Question here is, what would be the possible use of the Padma Bridge and the railway lines being erected on it? If we are considering this bridge essential for easing communication with the southern part of Bangladesh, possibly it would be a wrong or unworkable idea. Instead, the government needs to immediately create several exclusive economy zones within the southern districts spanning from Rajbari district up to Gopalganj.

Additionally, there should be eco parks and exclusive tourism zones for the foreigners, along side residential, commercial and industrial projects. In brief, the frequency of expected traffic from and through the southern part of Bangladesh should be substantially increased in order to make this dream project not only a useful one but also one of the most viable projects in the country.

We need to remember, without growing traffic and frequent road congestion in Dhaka city, for city dwellers, daily life is not only becoming miserable, but it also is turning difficult every day. In my opinion, Bangladesh government should chalk a plan of starting a new city within Faridpur district similarly as Malaysia’s Putra Jaya, where all government officers would be transferred inn course of time. Dhaka is already becoming a city unlivable for people due to increased number of dwellers as well as daily road congestions. Once the capital city is shifted on the other side of the Padma Bridge, it will greatly help people from getting rid of the daily sufferings due to heavy traffic as well as massive number of the dense population in the capital city. Considering tomorrow’s Bangladesh, where economic activities in particular would significantly increase, it is very much impractical of keeping all government offices as well as important public and private establishment in this city. It is time for the policymakers of Bangladesh to look into the future and take necessary steps by shifting the capital city on the other side of the Padma Bridge. We also need to shift all existing industrial projects, including the readymade garments from Dhaka and adjacent areas to Faridpur and other southern districts.

It may be mentioned here that, the supplementary taxes on bridge on the river Ganges was initiated in 1985 which had continued until 1991. The government succeeded in collecting more than BDT 5.70 billion only during these years. If the government imposes just 5 percent supplementary tax on the annual revenue earnings as well as salaries paid to the employees of the republic, at least few billion dollars can be easily collected from this process.

I would like to firmly say, Padma Bridge is not a liability to Bangladesh. Instead it is a precious asset, which opens the prospect of connecting the vast number of populations in the southern part of the country into country’s economic activities. The government should know, Padma Bridge and the railway links on this dream project can turn extremely beneficial to the country once we adopt proper policies centering this project.

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An internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist, research-scholar, counter-terrorism specialist, and editor of Blitz. Follow him on Twitter Salah_Shoaib

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