labels: trade
Bangladesh to waive import duties on some food items to control pricesnews
23 May 2007

Mumbai: The Bangladesh government proposes to waive all duties on import of edible oils, chickpeas and milk food in the coming budget for 2007-08 fiscal to stabilise supply and prices of essential food items.

The decision was taken after a majority of advisors at the meeting of the advisory council favoured drastic cuts in duty on a number of essential items in line with the pre-budget demands placed by Bangladesh''s apex trade body, the New Age reported quoting sources.

Currently, import of these items are subject to customs duty, supplementary duty, infrastructure development surcharge, value added tax and advance income tax, which add to the soaring prices of food items.

Withdrawal of import duties on major food items would cost the exchequer Taka 700 crore in lost revenue but the government has asked the national board of revenue to find ways to offset the losses, the report quoting finance ministry sources said.

Currently, 28.90 per cent duties are applicable to retail level import of chickpeas and 13 per cent for bulk import. Crude palm and soya bean oils are subject to a total duty incidence of 21.90 per cent. Importers have to pay 50.75 per cent for bulk import of milk powder and 79.50 per cent for retail imports, officials said.

Edible oil prices in Bangladesh surged 60 per cent in a year and 16 per cent in last four months, while milk food prices soared by about 25 and 13 per cent respectively. The government expects price of chickpeas to climb, as its consumption will surge manifold during the Muslim fasting month of Ramzan that falls in September-October.

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Bangladesh to waive import duties on some food items to control prices