Ship breakers urged the revenue authority to lower import duty on scrap ships by two-thirds to stabilise the prices of iron and steel products in the local market.
They proposed to cut the rate from Tk 1,500 to Tk 500 per tonne to facilitate the country’s construction sector.
Bangladesh Ship Breakers and Recyclers Association (BSBRA) put forward the demand at a pre-budget meeting with the National Board of Revenue (NBR) at its conference room in the city.
Presided over by NBR member (customs policy) Md Masud Sadiq, the meeting was also addressed by NBR member (VAT policy) Zakia Sultana and member (tax policy) Md Shamsuddin Ahmed.
Placing the proposals for consideration in the national budget for FY 2022-23, BSBRA senior vice-president Kamal Uddin Ahmed said the steel price of scrap ships in the international market has increased to US$ 630 from $350 per tonne.
Besides, the exchange rate of dollar has also increased to nearly Tk 88 from Tk 85 in the last six months.
Due to the price hike of scrap ships and dollar, the prices of raw materials of the country’s iron and steel sector also increased, resulting in adverse impact on the local construction industry, said Mr Ahmed.
He also proposed to halve the VAT rate on rod at the supply end from Tk 1,000 to Tk 500 per tonne to help stabilise the product’s market.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Oceangoing Ship-owners Association (BOGSOA) proposed to remove 5.0 per cent tax at source for transporting goods abroad by the Bangladeshi flag-carrier vessels.
Abdul Baten, general secretary of the association, said the government should remove the 1.0 per cent advance income tax (AIT) on purchase of ocean going vessels to attract more investment in the sector.
The Federation of Bangladesh Customs Clearing and Forwarding (C&F) Agents Association secretary general Sultan Hossain Khan urged the government to amend the Customs Agent Licencing Rules, 2020.
He said NBR takes too much time to renew the licence of C&F agents which creates obstacles for many of the companies to take part in the tenders. So, the renewal fee should be taken for 10 years at a time, he added.
Leaders of Bangladesh Inland Container Depots Association (BICDA), Bangladesh Shipping Agents Association (BSAA) and Bangladesh Freight Forwarders Association (BAFFA) were also present at the programme.
Source : Hellenic Shipping News