National Board of Revenue chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan on Sunday urged the business community to improve the quality of their products to get more tax and duty benefits and to encourage consumers for buying local products instead of imported ones.
At a pre-budget discussion with different sectors held at the NBR headquarters in Dhaka, he also said that the revenue board would make the duty benefits uniform on import of safety and firefighting equipment for all sectors.
The tax authority will also increase the tax on low-quality cigarettes in the next national budget for the fiscal year of 2018-2019, the NBR chairman said.
‘Businesses are found not to pay enough attention to the quality of products as they intend to make profit from the first year of their business,’ Mosharraf observed.
People will not use imported products if they find local products with better quality, he said.
The NBR will give more tax and duty benefits including withdrawal of supplementary duty on local products if the businesses improve the quality of their products, he said.
He made the comments while Small and Medium Enterprise Foundation demanded withdrawal of SD on local fruit juice.
He also urged the local paper manufacturers to improve the quality of newsprint.
SME Foundation consultant Shahabuddin Ahmed said that the revenue board should give tax benefits to the import-substitute sectors.
He also demanded lower rate of value-added tax for SMEs and raise the VAT-free turnover to Tk 36 lakh from the current Tk 24 lakh and upward revision of turnover limit to Tk 1.5 crore from the current Tk 80 lakh for imposing turnover VAT on SMEs.
The Foundation also sought duty benefit for import of factory safety equipment for all sectors. Currently, only export-oriented industries get the benefit.
Bangladesh Paper Mills Association demanded withdrawal of VAT and reduction of customs duty on import of different types of chemicals used in paper industry.
The association also demanded imposition of customs duty at higher rate on import of all kinds of writing and printing paper, and newsprint as the local mills are capable of meeting the domestic demand.
Bangladesh Land Developers Association demanded the investment opportunity of undisclosed money unconditionally in land development and real estate sectors.
The association also sought reduction in land registration fees to 7 per cent from the current 14 per cent.
Anti-Tobacco Media Alliance recommended that the NBR bring the number of price slabs down to two from the existing four, set the minimum price for the low-segment cigarette
at Tk 50 per 10 sticks and raise the duty to 60 per cent for the segment, and for the high-quality cigarette at Tk 100 per 10 sticks and set the tax at 65 per cent for the segment.
The alliance also demanded introduction of a specific tax at Tk 5 per 10 sticks for all cigarettes.
It also recommended raising price and tax for both bidi and smokeless tobacco products.
The ATMA said that the government would get additional revenue between Tk 7,500 crore and Tk 10,000 crore if the proposals were adopted.
In reply, the NBR chairman said that they would adopt a policy in the next budget under which consumers would have to pay higher prices for tobacco products.
Tobacco products including cigarettes will see a reasonable rise in taxes in the next budget though the NBR is under pressure for not increasing the tax on low-priced cigarettes, he said, adding that the NBR would not compromise with the pressure.
Bangladesh Marine Fisheries Association president AK Shamsuddin Khan demanded withdrawal of duty on import of fishing nets and other fishing equipment.
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