The National Board of Revenue on Monday asked all customs houses and land customs stations to release industrial raw materials and goods imported by public, private and autonomous bodies during the public holidays announced by the government to combat the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
Earlier on March 24, the revenue board in an order instructed the commissioners of the customs houses and LC stations to keep their offices open to conduct customs assessment and release the imported essential goods, emergency medical equipment and other services following the government’s announcement of public holidays up to April 4 to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
It also asked the field offices to take measures for ensuring uninterrupted export procedures and activities in the export processing zones during the period.
The NBR asked its field offices to involve minimum number of manpower as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus outbreak that initially started in China and has now become a global pandemic.
Customs wing of the revenue board, in the latest order signed by second secretary Mohammed Mahraj-ul-Alam Samrat, said that industrial raw materials and goods imported by public, private and autonomous bodies would also be included in the list of eligible goods to be released during the period.
Officials said that they took the initiative to keep production of goods both for export and domestic markets uninterrupted as many firms were continuing production process under special arrangements.
Many sectors involved with production of emergency products, including pharmaceuticals, food and other essential goods, and export-oriented industries need uninterrupted supply of raw materials for the continuation of production, they said.
A total of 985 factories including readymade garments and textile units in Dhaka, Gazipur, Chattogram, Narayangang, Mymensingh and Khulna remained open until Sunday amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country, according to an Industrial Police report.
The Chattogram Customs House also requested the NBR to include the industrial raw materials and goods imported by public, private and autonomous bodies in the list.
The Chittagong Port Authority also requested the CCH to complete the customs assessment of the goods to reduce the congestion in the port, NBR officials said.
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