The first best taxpayer award in the country was given in 1994. 20 people were listed. A bidi trader from Rangpur was surprised to become the highest taxpayer in the country.
The event was held in the conference room of the National Economic Council (NEC). M Saifur Rahman was then the Finance Minister. Many people did not like the information that a bidi trader from Rangpur is the best taxpayer. The names of established businessmen of the country were not in the list. Under the pressure of those big and influential businessmen, the publication of the list of highest taxpayers was stopped for a long time.
In 2006, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) made another list. Khairuzzaman Chowdhury was the chairman of NBR at that time. Even after listing, it was not published till the end due to various pressures. That list of 25 people was also full of surprises. At the top of the list was Asit Kumar Saha of NGS Group in Asadganj, Chittagong. Its founder Nani Gopal Saha, Asit Kumar Saha is his eldest son. He paid income tax of around Tk 84 lakh during 2004-05. His brother Ashok Kumar Saha was the third highest income tax payer.
Second on the list was Aditya Majumder Bhai, the proprietor of Majumdar Traders in Patkelghata, Satkhira. Samson H Chowdhury of Square Group was in the fourth place. The next name was Haji Mohammad, the Jordan businessman of Dhaka Aga Nawab Deuri. Kauch Mia. Rangpur bidi trader Alhaj Rahim Uddin Mia Varsa was in the sixth place, in the seventh place was Md. Medina Poultry Feed of Mitali Municipal Market in Dhaka. Fazlul Salam. The only employee on the list was Sanjeev Mehta, the then managing director of Unilever.
The names from the ninth to the 13th place belonged to the directors of the same company. Such as Dr. Drug International Limited. MM Amjad Hossain, Md. Yusuf, Rubaiyat Farzana Hossain, Khwaja Ajmal and MA Haider Hossain. The 14th name in the list was Khandaker Ohiduzzaman of Nazir Shankarpur in Jessore and the 15th place was Iqbal Haider Chowdhury of Purana Paltan in Dhaka. Hosne Ara Hossain and Laila Hossain, two more directors of Drug International, are in 16th and 17th place respectively. M Ikramul Karim of Sheikh Mujib Road in Chittagong, Ful Mohammad of Saheb Bazar in Rajshahi, Md. Zikrul Haque of Syedpur in 16th to 21st place respectively. Ekram and Asaduzzaman of Emon Market in Chittagong. Three brothers from the 22nd, 23rd and 24th top income tax payer Square group in the list Anjan Chowdhury, Tapan Chowdhury and Samuel S Chowdhury respectively. The latest name on the list was Sanjit Kumar Sahar of SK Traders, KB Road, Dhaka.
Two years later, since 2007, the list of top income tax payers has been published. Since then, the country’s top income tax payer Jorda businessman Kaush Mia. However, most of the names of those who are big industrialists, take various government favors, sit in various positions, give big speeches in meetings and seminars, lead businessmen, are not in the list of top income tax payers. Analyzing the list of the best taxpayers of the last six years, it is seen that not only Kaush Miai, there are 15 taxpayers in the list who have become the best taxpayers in their respective categories every time.
The question is, why aren’t big businessmen on the list of the best taxpayers? There is only one answer, they evade taxes by hiding their income. As they conceal income information, many again avoid paying taxes by closing loopholes in the law.