Dhaka: Bangladesh has lifted an amnesty on investing blackmoney in stock market, revising an earlier order amid stern objections from financial and security watchdogs.
     
Officials and reports said the National Board of Revenue (NBR) issued a Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) saying only "legally earned" yet "untaxed money" could be invested in the stock market on payment of 10 percent tax.
   
"The existing opportunity on declaring undisclosed income to bring it under formal channel is offered to only legally earned money from known sources," the order said, adding that the order would not be valid for the income earned through any "criminal activities" punishable under other laws.     

It also pointed out that the income tax law would not question investment of such undisclosed earning but other laws could be applied for such investment.
   
The government last year revived an old amnesty allowing investment of blackmoney in the bourse in a desperate effort to boost the stock market that suffered a massive setback sparking widespread street protests in 2011.
    
But the financial and graft watchdogs severely criticized the decision and the Asia Pacific Group (APG) on money laundering expressed its serious concern over acceptance of the illegally earned money without any question.
    
Finance ministry officials said the APG also warned that it would issue a worldwide public statement and ask banks in other countries not to open letters of credit for Bangladesh Bank unless the provision of allowing the investment of blackmoney was lifted.
    
Officials said "undisclosed money" includes funds borrowed from relatives or collected from other sources to buy stocks, which are not illegal though such earnings might not reflected in ones tax files.
    
"But the blackmoney indicates money earned through illegal or criminal acts," one finance ministry official said.    

The official said the government would allow only individuals and private limited companies to declare the undisclosed income in the share market but public limited companies could not avail the opportunity.

(Agencies)