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Competitiveness at stake Tax cut on export oriented industries demanded

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14th-May-2018       
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Special Correspondent  :
The Exporters Association of Bangladesh (EAB) has urged the government to reduce the burden of tax on the export and export oriented industries in the coming budget in order to remain competitive in global market.
"The next budget should propose rational tax measures for the export oriented industries so that exporters can maintain their edge in global market. The initiative can also help sustain export growth, promote investment and employment," EAB President Abdus Salam Murshedy told The New Nation on Sunday in an exclusive interview.
Terming the present tax structure as 'wearisome' for export industries, he urged the government to subtract corporate tax and VAT in the next budget to maintain competitiveness of export sector in global market."
Salam Murshedy said competitiveness is gradually declining mainly for depreciation of local currency against the US dollar, rising cost of doing business and cost of production, labour wages and transportation cost.
Salam Murshedy observed that the governments of the challenger countries were making frequent policy adjustment to maintain edge in their export industries. But Bangladesh is maintaining same policies without bringing necessary reforms risking the export sector.
 "Such a policy paralysis could leave a serous adverse impact on exports in near future," he warned.    
He also suggested for a five-year tax policy after fixing a unified corporate tax rate of 10 per cent for the export industries and reducing the source tax to 0.5 per cent from the existing 0.70 per cent in the next budget to ease tax burden on them.
"Savings from corporate tax cut can be used to lower cost of production and improve edge of local industries in the global areana," he added.
Murshedy also sought exemption from VAT on products and services used locally by export-oriented industries, duty free import facility for the capital machinery, fire preventive and energy savings equipment and spare-parts, conducting audit in two years instead of one year and increasing the time to six months from existing three to provide related documents.
The EAB leader also demanded cash incentive for the all export-oriented industries, withdrawal of five per cent advance income tax on cash incentive for frozen foods export, withdrawal of four per cent VAT on packing materials, fuel and lubricant, chemical and detergent, ice purchase and uniform and liveries, and 4.5 per cent VAT waiver on carriage inwards and outwards.
Murshedy, however, believe that the present government will realize the need of export sector and adopt budgetary policies to boost export.
"The present government is very much labour and investment friendly. We hope it will take necessary budgetary measures to promote investment and employment," he added.

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