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Exporters seek duty protection to become competitive

images (1)They also sought duty-free import of raw materials

A group of manufacturers and exporters without bond facilities have urged the government to provide them with cash incentives and zero import duty on capital machineries.

They also sought duty-free import of raw materials for enhancing competitiveness of their products in the global market.

They came up with the plea while attending a regular pre-budget meeting with the top officials of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) held at NBR headquarters in the capital yesterday.

A total of 14 exporters, who do not have any bond facilities, including Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters (BPGMEA) and Bangladesh Foods and Vegetable Exporters Association (BFVEA) attended the meeting.

Plastic goods makers sought zero duty on import of capital machineries, reduced duty on imported raw materials while higher duty on imported plastic items.

“The industry is now going through a real hard time since the suspension of the GSP facilities in the US market and incurring huge financial losses due to previous shutdowns and blockades,??? said BPGMEA President Md Jashim Uddin.

To tackle the situation, the government should withdraw duties on the import of all the capital machineries to help enhance its competitiveness in the global market as the existing 2% import duty pushed this sector to a tougher global competition in the backdrop of the increased production cost, he added.

He also sought for some incentives, including LC opening at zero margin for two years, reducing interest rate on bank loans, 20% cash incentive and reducing tax at source to 0.3% from 0.8%.

BPGMEA also proposed for lifting tax and VAT on the import of gas generators as the frequent load shedding is badly disrupting the overall production in this sector.

As per the existing budget, plastic goods producers have to pay 2% duty on import of generators.

To encourage the local industry, it also proposed to increase duty on imported plastic products like boxes, cases, bags, trays for transportation of chicks and eggs, seedlings, tableware and kitchen wares as these items imported from India and China have already engulfed the domestic market.

The BPGMEA leaders stressed the need for establishing an Inter-bond transfer facilities and setting up of a planned plastic industrial estate to increase export.

Handicrafts exporters also proposed a zero export duty on their products and withdrawal of the existing 5% income tax.

Food and vegetable exporters demanded setting up of a central packaging house and special incentive to help increase export volume.

Jamdani Saree Manufacturers and Exporters Association President M R Mustak said: “We used to receive 25% cash incentives earlier, but now it has been reduced significantly.???

He urged the government to take necessary steps for stopping the smuggling of Jamadani Sarees from India to help grow the local industry.

Leaders of Bangladesh Embroidery Manufactures and Exporters Association demanded of the government to withdraw the existing export duty and issuing bond license free of cost.

Besides, exporters and manufacturers from timber and potato industries sought various facilities to help flourish their respective industries.

Responding to the demands raised by the exporters, NBR Chairman Golam Hossain said: “All the exporters have just demanded reducing taxes, VAT and duties. The demands should be rationalized as we have also a sort of limitation in meeting all the demands.???

“Being a citizen of the country, we should also think about how to boost revenue income for the betterment of the people and also for the overall economic development of the country.???

Source: Dhaka Tribune

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