2 years ago

Elevator importers for 11pc duty

Call for continuing with capital machinery status

- Photo collected from internet has been used for representational purpose
- Photo collected from internet has been used for representational purpose

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The Bangladesh Elevators, Escalators and Lift Importers Association (BEELIA) on Tuesday placed a charter of demands for keeping the 'capital machinery (CM)' status of the lifting machines.

The proposed budget for fiscal year 2022-23 has scrapped the CM status of elevators and imposed a 31-per cent duty on this import-dependent equipment.

Previously, importers had to pay 11-per cent duty-1.0-per cent customs duty (CD), 5.0-per cent advance income tax (AIT) and 5.0-per cent advance tax (AT).

After scrapping the CM status, the government has fixed 5.0-per cent CD, 15-per cent VAT, 5.0-per cent AIT and 5.0-per cent AT, says BEELIA president Emdad Ur Rahman while placing a seven-point proposal at a press conference.

Lift has become the heart of a building over the years amid rising high-rises both for commercial and household purposes.

Mr Rahman says more than 90 per cent of new apartments and buildings are small in size (six to eight storeys) in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country.

Such buildings have a demand for lifts that now cost Tk 1.8-4.0 million depending on quality and features, he adds.

For using lifts, he says, users pay a service charge in every building both in commercial units and residential buildings.

Lift prices may escalate by at least 25 per cent if the government starts realising such high-import duties, remarks the trade leader.

Presenting a keynote, BEELIA secretary Shafiul Alam Uzzal says lift sales will drop. On the other hand, consumers will pay an extra charge for using lifts.

Bangladesh is mostly import-reliant on lifts, he adds.

"Only a few companies have started assembling lifts locally after importing all equipment, hardly meeting 5.0 per cent of the demand."

Mushfiqul Hoque, director of Creative Engineers Ltd, says "We hardly find any logic behind scrapping lift's status of capital machinery of the housing sector in a country that is solely dependent on import."

Apart from import, he adds, a lift management company has to go through diverse tasks to raise expertise which is most important to ensure safety of the people.

Mr Hoque says a lift has many features in which local companies are yet to achieve required proficiency.

An elevator with a capacity to lift 8-10 persons costs Tk 1.8-4.0 million which may rise to Tk 2.3-5.0 million, he maintains.

BEELIA vice-president Aktar Zamil Bhuiyan says the sector has grown at 10-15 per cent for the last one decade.

It will be tough to maintain this growth in the coming days if such high duties are imposed, he cites.

The association's proposals include the making of a policy on local lift manufacturing, the setting of a 'lift standard' following the international standard.

It also suggests that a regulatory entity be formed considering safety of life alongside achieving capacity, it proposes.

According to the BEELIA and the National Board of Revenue, importers bring 4,000-5,000 units of lifts and elevators annually, amounting to Tk 8.0-9.0 billion.

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