The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has decided to gather information about the level of compliance with its order to install Electronic Cash Register (ECR) or Point of Sale (POS) by the businesses across the country.
Officials said the Value Added Tax (VAT) wing under the NBR recently issued an order to all of its field-level offices to send updated list of the organisations in their respective zones that must use ECR or POS.
The letter, signed by second secretary of VAT-policy section Md Shamsul Arefin Khan, says the order has been issued as a first step towards implementation of the instructions of the finance minister as laid down in the budget for fiscal year 2016-17.
Although the government made ECR and POS mandatory in 2009, the NBR didn't yet have any updated data as to how many businesses complied with its order.
Earlier, the field-level VAT offices identified 11,005 shops eligible for using the technology and 8,559 of those were selected for installation of ECR machines or POS terminals.
The NBR found some 2,970 shops or 35 per cent of the selected ones having installed the ECR machine or POS terminal.
However, a senior VAT official said the NBR did not complete the survey across the country to find out the actual number of businesses that should come under mandatory ECR-installation order.
Officials said field offices had started sending lists of the businesses located in their respective jurisdiction to the NBR.
"ECR installation by the businesses in some of the VAT commissionerates in Dhaka is quite satisfactory compared to that of the other cities," the official said.
Some businesses claimed high cost of ECR machines and unavailability of the equipment as main reasons for the delay.
To address the issue, the NBR has taken several steps to popularise the ECR machine. Several VAT offices organised ECR mela (fair) in their respective zones to make both businesses and VAT officials aware about the use of ECR machine.
Earlier, the NBR had instructed its field offices to ensure installation of ECR machine or POS terminal at all eligible shops by January 15 following a decision of the fiscal coordination council of the finance ministry.
The revenue board by an order in 2009 made mandatory the installation of ECR machine or POS terminal at shops under 11 categories to prevent evasion of VAT collection from consumers by the shopkeepers. The categories include hotels, restaurants, sweetmeat shops, departmental and general stores, jewelry, all shops at shopping malls in the metropolitan areas and, medium and large wholesale and retail shops across the country.