Beverage cos demand SD withdrawal

Staff Correspondent | Published at 01:06am on January 19, 2021

The Bangladesh Beverage Manufacturers Association has demanded withdrawal of supplementary duty on carbonated soft drinks on a temporary basis to facilitate the sector coping with the COVID-19 outbreak-induced business slowdown.

The association made the plea to the National Board of Revenue through a letter wrote on December 28 to NBR chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem.

The SD at the rate of 25 per cent is applicable to carbonated soft drinks in the country.

Beverage manufacturers are facing crisis due to a slump in demand amid the coronavirus outbreak, BBMA president Md Harunur Rashid said in the letter.

Manufacturers are required to take a huge quantity of unsold products back from the retails shops, he said.

He claimed that the sector did not terminate any workers despite the fact that it did not get any stimulus from the government.

The beverage sector with the annual turnover worth Tk 3,324 crore is one of the top 10 revenue generating sectors of the government and the sector alone gave Tk 981 crore in SD and value-added tax in the fiscal year of 2018-2019.

The sector in the last seven years invested a total of Tk 4,741 crore in the country, the BBMA claimed.

‘In this situation, we request you to temporarily suspend the collection of SD from the sector as a support amid the crisis,’ Harunur wrote in the letter to the NBR chairman.

It will work as an incentive to the sector, he said.

Officials of the revenue board said that they had received the application and forwarded it to the VAT wing for scrutiny.

The decision will be made based on instructions of the NBR high-ups, they said.