The finance ministry has waived exporters from payment of stamp duty at the rate of 0.2 per cent on deferred payment, a major boost for the exporters in the context of the country’s export earnings fall in the first half of the fiscal year 2019-2020 amid global economic slowdown.
The central bank on Monday issued a circular in this regard, asking all banks to follow a finance ministry clarification on stamp duty.
The finance ministry clarification mentioned that the stamp duty on the deferred export bill of exchange would not be applicable to exports.
Mentioning the law ministry clarification in this regard, the finance ministry said that the stamp duty would not be applicable to the exporters as such duty was applicable to the issuer of bill of exchange.
The bill of exchange is issued in favour of exporters for the export payments and that is why such duty will not be applicable to them, the law ministry clarification said.
The finance ministry, upon clarification from the law ministry, gave the waiver on December 8, 2019 amid demand for the stamp-duty withdrawal from the exporters especially by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association in October last year.
Apart from the exporters, the bankers also placed the demand to the Bangladesh Bank at a meeting held in November, 2019.
The Finance Bill-2012 in line with the Stamp Act, 1899 instructed to attach stamp at the rate of 0.2 per cent on the ‘Bill of Exchange’ value, said bankers at the meeting.
However, it does not specify that such stamp duty would be applicable to the bill of exchange issued against export.
Despite the fact, the banks were imposing stamp duty at the rate of 0.2 per cent against bill of exchange issued against export following instruction from the BB.
Due to lack of clarity in this regard, the exporters have raised objection to paying such duty.
In case of deferred bill of exchange worth Tk 100 crore, exporters were supposed to clear Tk 20 lakh as stamp duty as per the finance bill-2012.
Exporters said that the waiver would give them a great relief in the context of export fall in recent months.
It would also help them being more competitive in the global market, they said.
‘Based on a law way back in 1899, the stamp duty is imposed on import in the subcontinent but never on export,’ BGMEA president Rubana Huq told New Age on Monday.
‘We thought that it was reasonable to seek for an exemption and we did,’ she said, adding, ‘We explained in a proper manner and we got it.’
In the first half (July-December) of the current financial year 2019-20, the country’s export earnings fell by 5.84 per cent to $19.30 billion from $20.50 billion in the same period of FY19.
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