Sunday, April 14, 2024

MCCI wants import duty reduction

Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday demanded that the National Board of Revenue should reduce customs duty on import of capital machinery, basic raw materials, intermediary raw materials and finished products at significant level in the coming national budget. At a pre-budget discussion with the NBR, the MCCI also wanted an increase of tax-free income threshold for individuals to Tk 2.5 lakh from the existing Tk 2 lakh in view of the spiraling cost of living of mass people.
The trade body recommended to bring down the rate of customs duty on import of capital machinery, basic raw materials, intermediary raw materials and finished products to 1.5 per cent, 2.5 per cent, 7.5 per cent and 20 per cent respectively from the existing 3 per cent, 5 per cent, 12 per cent and 25 per cent respectively.
‘Reduction of customs duty on import of above mentioned products is important for expansion of industrialisation and trade in the country,’ the MCCI said in its written proposal.
The chamber also demanded an extension of tax incentives including tax holiday, tax exemption and tax payment at reduced rate for another three years that will expire in June 2013 for some sectors.
They sought tax exemption for handicrafts, poultry and tourism industries along with newly established factories and tax at reduced rate for textiles, jute and fisheries sectors until 2016.
The trade body also sought tax rebate for investment of legally earned undisclosed money. Currently, an investor gets tax rebate at the rate of 10 per cent on the investment of Tk 1 crore or 20 per cent of his or her total income.
In its proposal, the MCCI sought an increase of tax-free income limit for women and aged people to Tk 3 lakh and for disabled to Tk 3.25 lakh from the existing Tk 2.25 lakh and Tk 2.75 lakh.
It also recommended reducing corporate income tax rate for bank, insurance and other non-banking financial institutions to a rational level.
The existing 42.5 per cent corporate tax is very much higher compared with the neighboring countries, it said.
The proposals also included withdrawal of the minimum tax at 0.5 per cent irrespective of profit and loss and providing tax rebate to all listed companies which distribute dividend at least at the rate of 20 per cent.
The trade body also recommended to the NBR to withdraw the limit of expenditure at Tk 8 crore or 20 per cent of income as corporate social responsibility for getting tax rebate.
The MCCI proposed withdrawal of regulatory duty and reduction of customs duty on import of complete knock down motor cycles with four stroke engine, LCD and LED panel imported by TV manufacturing industry considering the items as intermediary raw materials.
At the meeting, MCCI president Rokia Afzal Rahman said ‘business community is concerned over the prevailing political unrest.’
It is essential to remove the imbalances in taxation faced by local industries and reduce duty on basic raw materials and intermediate goods to increase the competitiveness of local industries, she said.
She said that the coming budget would have to include a strong package for safety of industrial and agricultural sectors and there should be a liberal policy for power sector.
She also urged the government to formulate a comprehensive budget to promote industrial growth, increase employment, expand trade and commerce and tackle the prevailing political unrest and economic crisis.
NBR chairman Ghulam Hussain said that the revenue board would consider the proposals while formulating budget recommendation for the government.
He, however, express his anxiety over achieving target for revenue collection in the current fiscal year of 2012-13.
Former MCCI president Anis Ud Dowla, directors Abid H Khan, Habibullah N Karim, among others, spoke at the meeting.

-With New Age input

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