The British American Tobacco Bangladesh (BATB) in a press release issued Saturday clarified its position on reports in a section
of newspapers about tax evasion through the marketing of a new brand-Gold Flake. The press release said, "Some vested quarters are making baseless allegations against British American Tobacco Bangladesh's (BATB) new brand Gold Flake on grounds of tax evasion. There have been some press reports on the issue as well, where unfortunately our views were not sought. We believe such negative activities are designed to malign the brand and make the country's business environment unhealthy." "Recently, we have launched Gold Flake and fixed the prices of the brand in line with VAT law and rules 1991 and government fixed price slabs. At a later stage, LTU (Large Taxpayers' Unit) of NBR issued an order, asking us to put Gold Flake at a higher price slab. Upon the order, BATB, as per law, has
applied for reconsideration of the decision. Currently the matter is pending for a review hearing. Based on the facts, we are hopeful for a reasonable interpretation and positive outcome," it added. "We want to clarify our position on the comment that our entry into the largest segment of market would drive away local cigarette manufacturing companies out of business. This goes against our business principles. BATB believes in healthy competition and does practice it. We believe there is enough room for competition and growth in the above mentioned segment as well as in other segments where our competitors are also active," the BATB clarification said. It said, BATB has been doing business for 99 years in Bangladesh in compliance with all existing laws. Our sincere efforts coupled with transparency in tax collection for government have made us the largest
taxpayer in private sector of the country. In 2008-09 fiscal year, we contributed Tk 3,413 crore to government exchequer."