Dhaka, Apr 24 (UNB)- Owners of major steel factories across the country on Wednesday urged the government for keeping the current tariff system over steel products’ manufacturing and distribution process.
Additionally they requested not to raise the gas price which is indispensable for the steel industry.
The calls were made at a press conference on the added VAT, tax on steel industry and the proposed gas price hike in the coming budget jointly arranged by Bangladesh Steel Manufacturers Association, Bangladesh Re-Rolling Mills Association and Bangladesh Steel Mill Owners Association at Jatiya Press Club.
Bangladesh Steel Manufacturers Association Secretary General Muhammad Shahidullah said the steel and re-rolling industry of the country is progressing despite many barriers.
"The current tariff method for paying VAT is an easy process. It is also an easy method for the government to collect taxes from the steel industry. We request the government to keep the current tariff method ( 900 taka VAT per ton)," he said.
He also mentioned that the production cost for each ton of rods could increase up to 9000 taka per ton should the government introduce new VAT abolishing the tariff method.
Shahidullah also urged the government to abolish the current Advance Income Tax (AIT) and TDS on steel production.
He further highlighted the necessity to keep the gas price down saying, "15% costs of steel production is due to fuel consumption. If the proposed gas price hike in the budget is implemented, the steel industry will see the production cost per ton increase to 4000 taka."
Current gas price for the steel industry is taka 7.76 per square meter which is proposed to increase 132 percent at 18.04 taka. For captive power consumption the rate is proposed to set at 18.88 taka from 9.62 taka per square meter marking a 96 percent increase.
Bangladesh Steel Manufacturers Association President Manwar Hossain said the local steel industry is lagging behind competing with the foreign companies who enjoy many facilities including tax rebate and duty free import.
"The government is importing duty free from foreign companies in many development projects. This practice should end and the local industry should get the chance," he added.
Among others present at the event Bangladesh Steel Mill Owners Association Chairman Sheikh Fazlur Rahman Bakul and Secretary General Md Shahjahan spoke.