Bangladesh Bank on Tuesday invited applications from banks, individual-owned companies, joint ventures and limited companies for gold dealership licences.
To this end the central bank on the day published a notice in national dailies seeking applications under the BB’s new guidelines on gold dealership licence.
BB issued the guidelines on March 11 this year under section 3.1 of the Gold Policy-2018 enacted by the government with a view to making import and export of gold easy, preventing smuggling of the precious metal and bringing transparency in its trading, said BB officials.
The central bank in its notice asked the entities to submit applications for dealership licences by September 30 this year upon fulfilment of specified criteria.
The licensees would be able to import gold from authorised dealers and producers abroad. Besides, they would sell gold to jewellers who would use the metal to make ornaments.
In the case of import of gold for export purposes, back-to-back import facility would be offered under section 12 of chapter 6 of the foreign exchange transactions, 2018 guidelines.
According to the new BB guidelines, the gold dealership licences will remain valid for two years and will be renewed upon payment of Tk 2 lakh in fee along with complying with other conditions.
Individual-owned companies, joint ventures and limited companies must have minimum Tk 1 crore in net worth as per their updated income tax returns.
Besides, bullion vault along with adequate safety measures has been made mandatory for the safekeeping of gold to be imported by the dealers.
The government enacted the gold policy with a view to becoming a gold-ornament exporting country and preventing Bangladesh from being used as a channel for gold smuggling for the neighbouring countries.
Apart from making ornaments for the local market sales, jewellers would be allowed to export ornament items abroad and they would get incentives for value addition, according to the gold policy.
Opening up the opportunity of Indian gold ornament market from where the Indian government earned $42.9 billion in 2017 is the Bangladesh government’s main target to offer incentives against export of the metal.
Gold has never been imported under the BB’s guidelines, but 80 per cent of the annual demand for 20-40 tonnes in Bangladesh is met by smuggled gold and the rest from recycled gold, according to a government study.
BB officials, however, said that the relaxation of taxation policy, as outlined in the gold policy, would be vital to making the gold policy effective.
Under the policy, dealers would be able to import gold without paying any tax except value-added taxes.
National Board of Revenue would issue separate orders, easing the taxation rules related to gold import and export.
Currently, a passenger can bring 100 grams of gold to the country without duty and 234 grams with paying duty under the baggage rules of NBR.
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