The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has reintroduced reduced tax benefit on import of flat-rolled products, used as industrial raw materials, in a bid to keep the manufacturing cost of its related products at low level.
The Customs Wing of NBR has fixed 10 per cent customs duty (CD), like the previous year, on import of the products and waived all other duties and taxes on these.
NBR has issued a Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO), dated September 18, 2018, making the reduced rate effective.
In the budget for fiscal year (FY) 2018-19, NBR imposed 25 per cent CD and 3.0 per cent regulatory duty (RD) on import of flat-rolled products of iron or non-alloy steel, plated or coated with tin of thickness less than 0.5 mm and plated or coated with chromium oxides or with chromium and chromium oxides.
The products are used as raw materials for manufacturing tin-plated cans by food processing industries, soft drink manufacturers, milk products manufacturers, utensils and light furniture manufacturing industries.
After imposition of the CD and RD, the total tax incidence for the products stood at 60.73 per cent, including 15 per cent value added tax (VAT), 5.0 per cent advance income tax (AIT) and 5.0 per cent advance trade vat (ATV).
Talking to the FE on Wednesday, a senior customs official said different commercial importers and local industries have demanded reintroduction of the previous tax benefit on import of the raw materials.
Almirah, file cabinet, shoe-case, trunk, rack, utensil, mug, jug, bucket, drum, chair, table, stove, key and lock, and umbrella manufacturing industries claimed that they are facing uneven competition due to increase in production cost of the raw materials.
Bangladesh CR Coil Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BCMEA), Bangladesh Iron and Steel Importers Association, Bangladesh Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association, Padma Cans and Closures Limited, and Vitacan Industries Limited have demanded reintroduction of the reduced CD for the items.
The official said NBR imposed higher duty in the budget after BCMEA said some local industries are manufacturing world-class cold-rolled and colour-coated coil or sheet. They also alleged trend of misdeclaration.
After passing the Finance Act 2018, many of the manufacturing companies that use tin-coated plate for producing cans and containers in their industries lodge complaints.
"The industries said there is no local production of iron or non-alloy steel, plated or coated with tin of a thickness less than 0.5 mm," the official also said.
Even, BCMEA, the main applicant who sought higher duty, said local steel industries do not have the capacity to produce tin-coated plates of these qualities.
The official further said NBR imposed the high duty on the products being misguided by some information.
"We have reintroduced the 10 per cent CD benefit after we found the local manufacturing industries are being affected for imposition of the higher duty," he added.
Earlier, the association also claimed that the products are included in the SAFTA benefit list and enjoy 3.0 per cent CD.
BCMEA proposed to impose 25 per cent RD on import of the products to save the local industries concerned.
However, NBR found that there was no import of the products under SAFTA benefit in FY 2017-18.
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