Bangladesh: The Bangladesh Government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed an agreement for USD 25 million in soft loan to improve governance and service delivery in tax collection and land record management.
Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, Secretary to the Economic Relations Division (ERD) from Bangladesh, and Thevakumar Kandiah, Country Director of ADB’s Bangladesh Resident Mission, inked the deal.
According to ADB’s press statement, a technical assistance grant of USD 800,000 is associated with the loan supporting implementation of the Strengthening Governance Management Project (SGMP), and capacity development of its executing agencies. It also said, the project will help two government agencies–National Board of Revenue (NBR) and Department of Land Records and Survey (DLRS), to introduce online filing of tax returns, and digitised land records management system respectively.
ADB said the government revenues, at just 12.1 percent of the GDP, are still far too low to meet the growing demand for infrastructure improvement and social services. Along with other measures, filing of tax returns online is expected to raise the tax collection. The SGMP will design, procure and install IT system at NBR for enabling tax payers (for direct taxes) to submit online tax returns, it added.
ADB said for DLRS, the project will procure software and hardware to digitise land records in 45 upazilas in five districts, and develop a web-based database of land records including digitising text data, digitised cadastral paper maps and all spatial and text files.
It also said the project will also help establish selected specialised tax and land information and service centres for easy access to information. Digitising the land record management system is expected to significantly reduce the land-related litigations, and increase people’s access to land records data.