Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Polygamy tax for Bangladeshi city

Peter Foster:

Men in Bangladesh wishing to take advantage of the outdated, but still legal, practice of taking more than one wife will have to pay a polygamy tax.

The tax comes in next month in the fourth-largest city of Rajshahi as part of a modernisation drive.

Husbands taking a second, third or fourth wife will have to pay 10,000 taka (£78) for the first additional bride, £234 for the second and £312 for the third.

Mijanur Rahman Minu, the mayor of Rajshahi, said: "Polygamy is a disrespectful and outdated act."

In theory at least, it is subject to regulation that includes seeking permission from existing wives and penalties for not doing so.

Polygamy in Bangladesh, with 140 million people - the majority of them Muslim - has decreased in the past 50 years, particularly in the cities, but is still prevalent in many rural areas.

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