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Thursday, February 6, 2020 11:09:01 PM
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Crack smugglers' rackets

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07th-Feb-2020       
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The National Board of Revenue said that gold traders and jewelers would be able to legalise their undeclared stock of gold and other precious metals by paying a low tax. Almost all jewelers have gold in stock that they cannot show in their income tax returns as they do not have valid sources of purchasing those. In fact, the jewellery industry has to depend on smuggled gold. And so, the airports have become the entry point of transnational gold smugglers. Taking the advantage of security lapse in airports, many foreigners, plane crews, customs officers, bring gold making the country as safest corridor for smuggling. The NBR had said if any trader wants to disclose their undeclared stock of gold, they will have to pay Tk 1,000 per bhori. In case of cut and polished diamond, the tax will be at Tk 6,000 per carat. Besides, the authorities fixed the tax for silver at Tk 50 per bhori. The tax benefits will be given to the traders after they fulfil certain terms and conditions.
In line with the Gold Policy 2018, the NBR should ease gold import process by lowering the taxation as the country has huge demand of gold. The annual demand for gold in Bangladesh is between 20 and 40 tonnes. More than 80 per cent of it is met by smuggled gold as traders face difficulties in importing the precious metal due to its complex procedure. It's clear, the move of NBR to legalise unauthorised gold is mainly to discourage smuggling. But keeping the airports open for smugglers and without seal off the borders, it cannot be possible to effectively control the gold smuggling. If gold business couldn't be brought out of smugglers' grip, the situation won't change ever.
To save our gold jewellery industry, first of all it needs to crack the smugglers' rackets.

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