The cabinet on Monday approved in principle the draft of Bangladesh Tariff Commission (Amendment) Bill-2018 to strengthen the commission and widen the scope of its activities.
The bill proposed renaming of the commission as Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission and empowering it to deal with trade safety measures including anti-dumping duty, safeguard duty and protective duty.
The commerce ministry placed the bill before the weekly cabinet meeting held at the Cabinet Division with prime minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
‘Some safety measures including anti-dumping duty have been incorporated in the draft keeping the law consistent with the global trade system,’ cabinet secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam said at a press briefing after the meeting.
The draft also proposed changing the name of the commission, he said.
He said that the commission was established in 1973 as a government office through a resolution of the commerce ministry.
Later in 1992, the commission through Bangladesh Tariff Commission Act-1992 was established as a statutory body tasked with recommending the government measures to protect and improve the local industries.
According to the draft amendment, the proposed BTTC will provide necessary assistance to exporters to face investigation of other countries into the issues like anti-dumping duty, countervailing duty, safeguard measures and anti-circumvention duty.
It will also carry out investigation into the issues related to trade safety measures to protect the interest of local industries.
BTTC will also prepare recommendation over imposing protective customs duties for specific duration to protect and help flourish potential infant industries in the country, the draft amendment said.
Commission officials said that the proposed BTTC would be stronger and effective in protecting the interest of the traders as well as the country in international trade.
They said that the commission would also be able to advise the government on reviewing the customs duty policy and rationalisation of duty structure and preparing policies on tariff, industries, trade and investment.
The government will recognise and consider the recommendations appropriately, the draft said.
At the cabinet meeting, commerce minister Tofail Ahmed also apprised the cabinet of his Japan visit in July 23-26.
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