Local manufacturers, economists and experts noted that a conducive and industrial-friendly budget for the fiscal year 2022-23 has been proposed which will boost the local lift manufacturing sector. Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal in the proposed budget for the FY 2022-23 discouraged the import of lifts or elevators by raising import duties and aims to protect the huge investment of local entrepreneurs in this sector.
The demand for lifts in the domestic market is going up, mentioning it the minister noted that local entrepreneurs already made a huge investment in the lift manufacturing industry.
Country's renowned economists and industry insiders termed the proposal of a tariff hike on lift imports as a very friendly, conducive and timely decision to boost the domestic lift manufacturing sector.
Dhaka University's Professor at Economics Department Mohammad Shahadat Hossain Siddiqui said, 'Encouraging domestic industry is a prerequisite for sustaining the continuous progress of any country. If the local infant industry has to compete at the very begging, the industry will be at stake. The government have to assure proper policy support to protect and boost the domestic infant industry.'
Mentioning the name of a local lift manufacturing industry, he said, they are raising the country's self-dependency, reducing imports and also brightening Bangladesh's goodwill in the global arena. Giving benefits to domestic producers is definitely a positive aspect for us, he noted.
Renowned economist Dr Kazi Khaliquzzaman said, in the proposed budget, 'The import of products, which are manufactured or can be produced in the country, have been discouraged. Thus, domestic entrepreneurs and industries will be benefited and economic activity will also increase. We see this as positive.'
Former NBR chairman Muhammad Abdul Majid said, 'The government generally takes such steps for the local industrial development. It plays an effective role in the development of industrialization, as well as the ‘Made in Bangladesh’ boost-up. As a result, our responsibility in this field increases and entrepreneurs are also created in the country.'
In Bangladesh, there is a huge demand for lifts. According to the National Board of Revenue (NBR), Bangladesh imported Tk 707 crore worth of lift amid corona in 2020 and the import jumped to Tk 885 crore in 2021. According to industry insiders, the domestic market of lifts stands at Tk 1,200 crore. The annual market is growing up by 20 per cent.
Now, meeting the domestic demand of lift through import incurs costs of a huge amount of foreign currencies. Moreover, local businessmen prefer to import lift as this is more profitable. However, one or two local companies set up lift manufacturing plants with huge investments. The locally-made lift with European technology is much more advanced and high-standard than the imported lifts. Domestic production has sufficient capacity to meet the entire local demand.
Moreover, the country's housing industry has been expanded extensively. The people's economic condition has improved. As a result, demand for lifts across the country is growing up sharply. If Bangladesh's lift market remains import-dependent, the prices will beyond the people's purchasing power. But, the increase in domestic production will bring the prices of lift within the customer's reach. And, the lift servicing tasks, especially in the old houses or buildings, will be easier. Considering all other sides, the budget proposals for the lift industry is a very positive for the national industrial and economic progress as Bangladesh has already passed 50 years of its independence and this is high time for self-sufficiency.
According to the concerned people, earlier tariff hikes on import of electronics and technology products as well as benefits are given to the local industries of this sector are resulted in witnessing unprecedented development in the domestic hi-tech industries like refrigerators, air conditioners, television, laptop computer, mobile phone etc. Many local and multinational companies have set up factories in Bangladesh. The country is now self-sufficient in these products. Along with meeting local demand, export earnings in this sector are also increasing. Like the readymade garments sector, the country's electronics and technology industries have also become one of the potential sources of export earnings.
And thus, the industry insiders believed that the benefits given in the proposed budget will encourage both local and multinational companies to set up lift manufacturing plants in Bangladesh. Huge investment in this sector will come. Employment opportunities will be increased to a large extent and also the country's import costs will be reduced. Above all, it will give a further boost to the national economic progress.