Tipu Munshi expects sugar prices to drop in line with import duty
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has been requested to take steps towards reducing the import duty on sugar, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said on Sunday. The price of sugar will come down as a request has been made to NBR to reduce import duty on the daily item, which will create an effect on the price of sugar, he said. It is expected that the reduction in import duty will also allow the importers to sell on their goods at a lower price. The minister revealed this information while talking to reporters after a meeting with the representatives of the chamber and trade bodies at the Secretariat. Read more: Industries minister says sugar shortage 'artificial,' blames traders' hoarding “The government has fixed the price of sugar in the month of November but it is now being sold at Tk 120, why? According to the documents, there is plenty of sugar available. The Directorate of National Consumers' Rights Protection (DNCRP) has started a crackdown against the illegal hoarders and slapped fines. Now punitive action such as jail will be taken, if needed,” he said. Government is working hard as the common people can get sugar at a low price, said the minister. Referring to the upcoming Ramadan, Tipu Munshi said the government is working and will keep working to keep the supply of essential commodities normal during Ramadan. The ministry will soon form a committee to strengthen monitoring and vigilance to check soaring prices of essential commodities, said the minister. Read more: Soybean oil, sugar prices go up again Bangladesh Bank will also form a crisis management committee to monitor the market and supervise the import of goods, he said. The committee will hold a meeting every three months to avoid any untoward situation.
Duty cut on fuel import : BPC to analyse the impact before easing price
State-owned Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) will analyse the impact of the recent duty cut on diesel import and withdrawal of advance income tax before taking any decision on possible decrease in the price of the fuel, said its Chairman ABM Azad on Monday. “We hope, we can complete our analysis within 2-3 days and send our finding to the ministry to take a final decision on any possible adjustment in diesel price”, he told reporters on Monday following a meeting with petrol pump owners. His comments came a day after the government cut the duty on diesel import by half to five per cent and abolished all advance taxes on its import. The changes were notified through a gazette notification issued by the National Board of Revenue on Sunday. The order came into effect immediately and will remain effective until the end of (December 31) this year. The NBR notification added that light and high speed diesel oils will get the new facilities. Experts in the industry and the transport sectors believe that the new order came against the backdrop of the consistent demand from the politicians and business circles, as well as the common people, following the government’s hike of prices of all petroleum fuels. The government on August 5 announced the largest ever hikes in the price of fuel oil - ranging from 42- 52 per cent – with effect from August 6. At the consumer level, the retail prices of diesel and kerosene went up to Tk114 per litre, up by a whopping 42.5 per cent from Tk 80/litre. Read: Govt to slash fuel price when it goes down globally: Nasrul Hamid Octane price was raised to Tk135 per litre, up an eye-watering 51.7 per cent from Tk 89/litre - again the largest hike on record. Lastly, a litre of petrol was set at Tk130 from at the pump, that used to be Tk 86/litre even just a few hours ago as of writing this report - another 51 per cent hike in one go that has no precedent in independent Bangladesh. Bangladesh annually imports about 6.5 million metric tons of petroleum, of which 5 million metric tons is refined. Of these, the major portion is diesel - mainly consumed by transport, industry and power sector. However, the petroleum price started witnessing a decreasing trend from August 1 after the per barrel crude oil price was recorded to be $130. After that record high, it witnessed a per barrel price below $90. During the hike of fuel prices, it was said by the Energy Division that the state-owned BPC has been running a loss of Tk8,014.51 crore in petroleum fuel sales in the last six months, from February to July. The BPC chairman said that despite price fall in international market, the organisation has to incur a loss of Tk10-12 per litre in diesel. Responding to another question, he said discussion on the import of Russian oil still remains at the primary level and the government is assessing pros and cons of such import. Earlier, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid had said that the government would go for readjustment in fuel prices if price in the global market comes down.
BPC incurs Tk 63 crore loss a day in petroleum sale, but experts suggest cut on import duty
Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) is now incurring a loss of Tk 63 crore per day as the state-run company sells its imported products at rates lower than import cost. According to fuel marketing agency, it has to incur a loss of Tk 37 per litre in the sale of diesel, Tk 10 in octane, Tk 15 in furnace oil and Tk 7 in jet-fuel. “We’ve really been facing a tough situation. Everyday we’re communicating the situation to the Energy and Mineral Resources Division”, ABM Azad, chairman of the BPC told UNB. He, however, declined to give any indication on any possible increase of the petroleum price in the country to offset the loss. He said BPC has been considering different options and sending those to the top policy making level. Also read: BPDB’s extra purchase order of petroleum puts BPC in trouble “The government is the ultimate authority to make the final decision on any issue in regard to the petroleum fuel”, said the BPC chairman. Responding to a question on any cut in taxes on the import of petroleum, Azad said, he did not make any such suggestion as it is beyond his capacity. But he noted that in last two fiscal years, the BPC had to pay Tk 19,000 crore in VAT and taxes. The BPC chairman’s remarks came amid the growing petroleum price hike on the international market due to the war between Russia and Ukraine. The crude oil price already crossed $113 per barrel on Thursday which was below $100 before the start of the war.
Govt approves import of 17 lakh tonnes of rice
The government has permitted 428 businesspeople and firms to import 17.2 lakh metric tonnes of rice at a lower duty rate, aiming to keep the rice market stable in Bangladesh. The Food Ministry gave the permission from August 17 to 30 and informed the Commerce Ministry about it, said an official. On Monday, another 79 business firms got permission to import 1.01 lakh metric tonnes of boiled and atap (non-boiled) rice. With that, the Food Ministry permitted a total of 428 firms to import some 17.2 lakh metric tonnes of rice. Also read: Import duty on rice reduced to 25% However, the importers will have to market the imported rice by September 25 next. The other conditions imposed by the ministry include ensuring maximum 5 percent broken grains among the imported rice, opening LC (Letter of Credit) within 15 days and informing the Food Ministry about the LC-related information through emails instantly. Besides, the imported rice cannot be repackaged using the name of importers and the rice will have to be sold in plastic sacks. If anyone fails to open LC in the stipulated time, the permission will be cancelled, the ministry says. Earlier, 41 firms got permission on August 17 last to import 4.10 lakh tonnes of rice, 69 firms on August 18 to import 4.18 lakh tonnes of rice, 91 firms on August 21 to import 3.91 lakh tonnes of rice, 73 firms on August 22 to import 2.22 lakh tonnes of rice (boiled and unboiled ones), 41 firms on August 23 to import 94,000 tonnes of rice (boiled and unboiled ones) and 34 firms on August 24 to import 57,000 tonnes of rice (boiled and unboiled ones). Also read: Govt to buy 11.50 lakh mts Boro rice On August 12, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) issued a gazette notification slashing the import tariff on rice to 25 percent from 62.5 percent in order to keep the rice prices stable in the local market. The facility of lower import duty will remain effective till October 30 next. The imported rice has already started entering Bangladesh through land ports, the official added.
Import duty on rice reduced to 25%
The import tariff on rice has beencslashed to 25 % from 62.5% an official announcement said on Thursday. The change would be made effective from October 30 next. Read: None will be allowed to make rice market unstable: Food Minister The National Board of Revenue (NBR) issued a gazette notification in this regard. According to the notification, rice importers have to pay 5% Advanced Tax (AT) and 5% Advanced Income Tax (AIT) in addition to a 15% customs duty. Read: Bangladesh to import 550,000 mt of rice soon to boost stock However, it will only be applicable to the imports of boiled and unboiled Atap rice. Previously, the revenue authority had also reduced the tariffs to 25% last year in a bid to control the price hike by encouraging imports, but that facility was only valid till April this year.
BARVIDA demands car market expansion, rationalising import duty
Bangladesh Reconditioned Vehicles Importers and Dealers Association (BARVIDA) on Wednesday (April 28, 2021) demanded measures for expansion of the car market and increasing the government’s tax collection by rationalising the import duty on reconditioned vehicles and new cars. Leaders of the BARVIDA placed the demands at a virtual press conference held from its Bijoynagar office. Putting emphasis on the stability in the already-established reconditioned car industry, they said with the current perspective, the country needs a realistic, progressive, and implementable policy so that real automotive manufacturing industry is established which will also guarantee the protection of stability in the years-long business of import of reconditioned vehicles. Read NBR expands net, moves to raise revenue collection from income tax wing. Moreover, it is very important to reduce the discrimination in tariff in import of reconditioned cars and new ones for the greater interest of the market expansion of the cars in the country, said the BARVIDA leaders. They said the government can collect huge revenue from the higher sales of cars among the growing middle-income consumers during the period of the country’s graduation to a developing nation from the list of least developed countries (LDC). Addressing the conference, BARVIDA president Abdul Haque welcomed the government’s initiative of formulation of ‘Automotive Industrial Development Policy 2020’ adding that the production of the proposed ‘Made in Bangladesh’ or ‘National Car’ branded motor cars in Bangladesh would be a pride for BARVIDA. Also read: Resolve custom valuation issues of imported cars: BARVIDA But it needs to consider the current situation of the sector concerned, experiences of other countries and realities of the country before the establishment of any new industry, he said. In this case, the BARVIDA leaders suggested the protection of the four-decade import business of the reconditioned vehicle industry, said a press release. They also suggested the government assess the impacts and effectiveness of automotive industrial policy by an independent and credible international agency. The leaders said the local business of imported reconditioned vehicles was established with the investment of several thousand crores of Taka, which has created employment for over one lakh people directly or indirectly. The sector has been contributing to the economy paying thousand crore of Taka as revenue to the national exchequer every year. Also read: BARVIDA donates ambulance to PM's humanitarian programme Noting that the environment-friendly cars produced in Japan with resale value are the first choice by the local customers, they said the BARVIDA is concerned whether any screw driving industry is going to be established in the name of setting up the country's own car-making plant denying the customers’ choice. Referring to a recent survey of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the BARVIDA president said it is feasible to establish the country’s own car-making plant, if one lakh pieces of car are sold in the domestic market of Bangladesh in a year. However, in the domestic market of Bangladesh some 10,000 units to 20,000 unit cars are sold in a year, he said. “So, the government needs to take measures to expand the local car markets before going for local production and aiming to export cars. In this case, it is very urgent to remove the discrimination of tariff structures on import of reconditioned cars and locally produced cars,” he said. Read Experts for more growth-friendly, simple, transparent tax system In a recent pre-budget meeting with NBR officials, the BARVIDA demanded for increasing the depreciation benefit in import of cars by restructuring the supplementary duties on import of hybrid and fossil fuel-driven cars and withdrawal of supplementary duty on import of microbuses, the BARVIDA president said. The BARVIDA leaders said the import of reconditioned cars declined significantly over the last few years in Bangladesh because of wide discrimination of duty between on import of reconditioned and new cars. So, the government’s revenue collection from the sector also faced a stumble. The BARVIDA did not get any loan from the government-sponsored stimulus package started one year ago. Read BARVIDA for reforming customs valuation system for vehicles The Chattogram port has yet to waive the port demurrage charge that was levied last year by the port authority on the importers even during the general public holidays despite an application by the BARVIDA. But the port authority has exempted the tax on container transportation. So, for the revival of the sector from the fallouts of the Covid-19, the BARVIDA wants to see the implementation of their placed proposals in the upcoming national budget for fiscal 2021-22, the leaders said. BARVIDA vice president Saiful Islam (Samrat) and secretary-general Mohammad Shahidul Islam also spoke on the occasion. Read NBR sets its sight on cranking up tax-GDP ratio
Parliament body for waiving import duty of sports items
A relevant parliamentary committee on Wednesday recommended the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to take necessary steps for waiving import duty of sports items. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Youth and Sports Ministry made the recommendation in its 13th meeting in order to promote sports in the country. The meeting was held with committee chairman Abdullah Al Islam Jakob at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban, said a handout of the parliament. Also read: Cabinet purchase body nods import of 50,000MT rice Suggestions were made to construct 178 Upazila Youth Training and Entertainment Centres in the first phase as part of the establishment of a centre in every upazila in line with the government’s electoral manifesto. It also recommended the ministry to send a development project proforma (DPP) over construction of some buildings, including an administrative building of the Directorate of Sports on the campus of Physical Education College in the city’s Mohammadpur area and academic building of the college, to the Planning Ministry. Also read: Purchase body okays 6 proposals including import of LNG, rice The parliamentary committee asked for sending a letter to the Fisheries and Livestock Ministry for handing over its land to Sheikh Hasina National Youth Development Institute for construction of its structures to implement the plans of the institute. Committee members Mahabub Ara Begum Gini (Gaibandha-2), Abdus Salam Murshedi (Khulna-4), Jewel Areng (Mymensingh-1), AM Naimur Rahman (Manikganj-1) and Zakia Tabassum attended the meeting.
Overheated onion market: Import duty withdrawn
The government has withdrawn 5 percent duty on onion import in an effort to cool down the overheated local market following its export ban by India.