Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Tanners, leather exporters want import duty cut on chemicals

Leaders of the tanners association, leather goods exporters and chemical importers on Thursday demanded that the National Board of Revenue eliminates the disparity in duty structure on imports of chemicals for the leather sector under bond licence,
without bond and commercial import category.At a pre-budget discussion with the NBR, Bangladesh Tanners Association, Bangladesh Finished Leather, Leather Goods and Footwear Exporters and Bangladesh Chemical Importers and Merchants Association also demanded reduction of duty, VAT and other taxes on import of chemicals used in the sector ranging from 10 per cent to 20 per cent from the existing 25-61 per cent.
Leaders of the associations said that the leather sector was suffering in production and in exports due to the disparity in duty structure in chemicals imports.
‘The sector needs more than 110 kinds of chemicals for processing raw-hide and produce leather goods and more than 95 per cent of chemicals have to be  imported,’ said Shaheen Ahmed, president of Bangladesh Tanners Association.
Under the current duty structure, export-oriented importers under bonded warehouse facility enjoy the zero per cent duty facility and importers under non-bonded facility are to pay a total of 25 per cent duty while commercial importers are to pay duty ranging from 31 per cent to 61 per cent including customs duty, VAT, advance income tax and advance trade VAT.
Shaheen said that most of the small and medium entrepreneurs cannot import chemicals on their own and depend on commercial importers for necessary chemicals. It increased their production cost as the price of chemicals went high due to higher duty structure.
So, BTA recommended the NBR to reduce taxes on imports of chemicals to 7.5 per cent for the export-oriented importers and to 20 per cent for commercial importers, he said.
BFLLFEA secretary Jainal Abedin said that they also demanded reduction of duty for export-oriented chemicals importers and commercial importers.
‘These chemicals are only used in the leather sectors and do not have any other uses. So NBR should provide the facility to save the small and medium entrepreneurs,’ he said.
Mizanur Rahman Mesbah, former president of BCIMA, said that they demanded reduction of duty to 20 per cent and merge the existing three layers to one layer in import of chemicals.
At the same meeting, Bangladesh Jewellers’ Samity (BJS) general secretary Dewan Aminul Islam Shahin demanded reduction of VAT on sales to 1.5 per cent from the existing 2 per cent.
BJS also demanded providing the facility to the jewelers to bring up to 2 kilogram gold bar and silver from abroad under baggage rules.
Jewelers also sought withdrawal of customs duty and other taxes on import of loose diamond.
Shippers Council of Bangladesh secretary general Shamsul Alam suggested the NBR to increase the tax-free income ceiling for individuals to Tk 2.5 lakh from the existing Tk 2 lakh.
NBR chairman Ghulam Hussain presided over the meeting while NBR members Farid Uddin, Syed Aminul Karim and Jahangir Hossain were present at the meeting.

-With New Age input

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