NBR proposes withdrawing duties on 425 import items
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has proposed withdrawing supplementary duty (SD) on 234 imported goods and regulatory duty (RD) on 191 imported goods in fiscal year 2023-24 to aid Bangladesh's graduation from a least developed country (LDC) to a developing one by 2026.
These products include imported fish like tilapias, catfish, carp, eels, Alaska pollack, rays and skates, seabass, animal meat and hair, food items and garments item like T-shirt, fabrics, tie, trousers, suits, jackets, artificial fabrics, underpants, chemicals and cosmetics.
In the next three consecutive budgets, the government will also lift 1,200 to 1,300 types of supplementary duties to reduce trade barriers in import and export between Bangladesh and other nations after the country's graduation.
There are around 7,000 types of tariffs on the import of goods including 1,926 supplementary and regulatory duties.
Supplementary and regulatory duties are mainly imposed on products that are incompatible with the local culture and are luxurious and a sudden withdrawal is not possible, said officials of the NBR.
Instead, tariffs should be dropped on products which are least imported and are least likely to reduce revenue generation and put more pressure on foreign currency reserves, they said.
Otherwise, Bangladesh will find it difficult to make the graduation and conform with regulations of other developing countries, they added.
One of the recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan conditions is that Bangladesh has to raise the tax-to-GDP ratio by 0.5 percentage points in fiscal year 2023-24, 0.5 percentage points in fiscal year 2024-25, and 0.7 percentage points in fiscal year 2015-26.
To attain the target, the NBR will have to collect an additional Tk 2.34 lakh crore over the next three fiscal years.