The national revenue board has declined to reduce the import duty and taxes on sugar and edible oil on the occasion of the upcoming Ramadan.
It said any cut in duty and taxes would not benefit the consumers as prices did not increase significantly because of fiscal measures, said a summary of the National Board of Revenue (NBR).
Following a proposal from the ministry of commerce, the NBR sent the summary to Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal with detailed calculation of the prices.
In the summary, the customs wing of the NBR said prices of edible oil (palm and soybean) increased by Tk 1.0 per litre due to implementation of the new VAT law.
It also said the existing duty rates on sugar should remain unchanged to help salvage the country's sugar mills under the Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation (BSFIC).
Officials said the NBR sent the price calculation with detailed data suggesting why the taxes on those two products should not be reduced.
Earlier, the commerce minister sent its Demi Official (DO) letter to the Ministry of Finance in this regard.
In the DO letter, the commerce minister proposed reinstatement of the duty and taxes like that in FY 2018-19.
The commerce ministry officials claimed that the letter had been sent following an increase in edible oil and sugar prices in the international market.
According to an analysis, the customs wing found that the total tax incidence for edible soybean and palm oil was 21.67 per cent in FY 2018-19. It declined to 20 per cent in FY 2019-20.
Last year there had been no Advance Trade VAT (ATV) nor 15 per cent VAT at the manufacturing stage of edible oil.
Officials said VAT had been exempted at the production stage last FY but the net payable VAT at the trading stage had been 15 per cent.
In the new VAT law that came into effect on July 1, 2019, the VAT wing changed the process of VAT collection to ensure compliance, said a senior VAT official.
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