Bangladesh Bank is set to issue licensing guidelines for gold importers, making banks and other suitable entities eligible for importing gold from the authorised dealers or producers.
The guidelines would be issued under the Gold Policy adopted by the government in 2018 with a view to making import and export of gold easy, preventing smuggling of the precious metal along with bringing transparency in its trading, said officials of Bangladesh Bank.
Instead of remaining a channel for gold smuggling for the neighbouring countries, becoming a gold ornament exporting country is another reason for the formulation of the Gold Policy-2018.
BB officials said that the guidelines would be issued within a couple of days to facilitate bringing gold to the country through legal channel and to prevent illegal trade of gold.
The guidelines would also impose restriction on any sort of misuse of the dealership licence, they said.
Apart from banks, individual-owned firm, or a joint venture or a limited company would be considered eligible to get gold dealership licence for import of the precious metal, they said.
In case of individual-owned firm or joint venture companies or limited companies, the minimum net worth would be set at Tk 1 crore along with fulfilment of other conditions to become gold dealer, the officials said.
Jewellers would be allowed to purchase gold from the importers for making ornaments.
Apart from making ornaments for selling in the local market, jewellers would be allowed to export ornament items abroad and they would get incentives for value addition.
Opening up the opportunity of Indian gold ornament market, where the government earned $42.9 billion in the year of 2017 from the sector, 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 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 it 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 policies related to gold import and export.
At present, 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.
As per the government data, 2.2 tonnes of seized illegal gold worth $90 million had been added to the foreign currency reserves in the period between 1971 and 2015.
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