BEZA plans 15-year tax holiday for technology transfer

Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha . Dhaka | Published: 23:07, Aug 13,2020


The Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority has taken a plan to provide 100 per cent tax waiver for 15 years to investors in the government-to-government economic zones if they invest in the export-oriented industries and transfer technology or reinvest.

To this end, the authority has already sent a proposal by redesigning its various incentive packages to draw foreign direct investments to offset COVID-19 pandemic fallouts on the national economy, keeping an extra eye on prospective sources in the South-East.

‘For our tireless efforts, investors from many countries, including China, are coming to Bangladesh. To attract more investment, we have set out a series of proposed measures to redesign the incentive package for post-COVID FDI flow,’ BEZA executive chairman Paban Chowdhury told BSS on Thursday.

The BEZA chief said that his office sent a proposal to the Prime Minister’s Office in May this year to attract new FDI, analysing moves by other regional FDI receiving competitors, while it was now awaiting a decision from the PMO.

He informed that BEZA proposed that companies which would invest $100 million or create 300 employments would get 100 per cent tax benefit for seven years from the Bangladesh government.

‘If any investor invests $200 million or create over 300 employments, BEZA has proposed to provide 100 per cent tax holiday for 10 years,’ he added.

He said that BEZA had also proposed complete corporate tax waiver and duty-free facility on importing all machineries and equipment for the investors who would like to relocate their investment in Bangladesh for production in export oriented industries from other countries under G2G basis economic zones.

BEZA has also proposed to allow factory relocation from other countries to Bangladesh, he added.

The BEZA chief informed that currently BEZA was working with some Japanese investors who were planning to relocate their investment from China due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Paban Chowdhury said that they had also recommended that corporate tax should be reduced to 25 per cent from the existing 32.50 per cent for investors while the VAT rate should be reduced to 12 per cent from 15 per cent.

He said that they had proposed that the VAT on land lease agreement should be withdrawn for both local and foreign investors in the country.

The BEZA chief urged the government to provide cash incentive for backward linkage industries, mentioning that India had allocated $3.6 billion in cash incentive for the industries to overcome the impact of COVID-19.

BEZA also proposed 100 per cent tax holiday for high value product industries, like medical equipment, for seven years.

It also suggested that 100 per cent tax holiday should  be provided for the first five years and 50 per cent tax holiday for the next five years for setting up innovation or research or training institute, he added.

He said that the authority had also recommended 10 years tax holiday for setting up export-oriented industries in remote areas and 20 per cent cash incentive for agro product industries.

Mentioning that India was providing such subsidies, he urged the government to provide 50 per cent subsidies for setting up central effluent treatment plant.

For the existing unit investors (except edible oil, sugar, flour, cement, iron and iron related products), he informed that BEZA was providing 100 per cent income tax waiver for the first three years, 80 per cent for the fourth year, 70 per cent in the fifth year, 60 per cent in sixth year, 50 per cent in seventh year, 40 per cent in eighth year, 30 per cent in ninth year and 20 per cent in 10th year.

BEZA has recommended that 100 per cent income tax exemption should be provided for the first four years, he added.

The BEZA chief, however, said that compared to its regional competitors, Bangladesh was in an advantageous position in offering online service through the One Stop Service Centre.

BEZA is now providing a total of 125 services under OSS centre.

Out of the services, investors are getting 20 services through online.

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