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Make gold import easier to stop smuggling

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28th-Nov-2017       
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TRANSPARENCY International Bangladesh (TIB) has rightly pointed that tight control on commercial gold import has left country's gold market largely unregulated. The high import duty instigates importers to bring gold using informal channel and depend on smugglers. It is clearly depriving the national exchequer of large chunk of revenue that the government so badly needs. To get the nation rid of the smuggling and to bring transparency in the trade of the valuable metal in the domestic market, TIB has justifiably called for withdrawal of high import duty and formulate a policy that can stop smuggling making the trade more open.

It is usual to see Customs Officials seize large haul of gold in airports and Land Ports but it never come into the light how much smuggled gold go through the Customs officials tight fingers by managing them or by way of inadequate screening. To stop the malpractice, the government should bring transparency in the market by regulating import through proper channel reducing exorbitant duty and awarding harsh punishment to smugglers.

We have a big gold market where Tk 25 crore worth gold is traded a day. But being largely supplied by way of smuggling the government is losing revenue. We can't have such faulty policy. As per news media, TIB came up with the suggestion after it found jewelry traders are mainly controlling the market. The government virtually does not have any control over the trade. It is unacceptable that the market lays barren to rule by smugglers using illegal protection of Customs and Law Enforcers. The government is not unaware about the malpractice. We know, gold smuggling is taking place with the help of a section of officials at Airport and Land Ports and inside the country. Biman has lost much of its image and smugglers are also using private airlines to that end. The entire system is becoming heavily corrupt with ban on bigger import.

There is no doubt we are following a destructive dual policy. On one hand we are allowing trade of illegally imported gold in the domestic market. On the other hand, we are yet to frame a policy to ensure proper import of the bullion. Dangerously, the malpractice has turned the country as a safe route of regional gold smuggling and trafficking. To stop it the authorities concerned should break the gold smugglers and traffickers' rackets as a first step to bring transparency in gold market.

We must say, the government is allowing smuggling by remaining apathy to formulate a comprehensive policy while depriving the national exchequer. We suggest reduction in import duty for gold; which will not only reduce smuggling but also allow people to buy jewelries at low cost.


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