Import policy to facilitate local industries

The recently published new import policy has opened a new panacea to facilitate production in local industries, thereby, reducing Bangladesh’s dependency on imported goods. The Commerce Ministry published the Import Policy Order 2021-24, effective from Sunday, through a gazette notification under the Imports and Exports (control) Act 1950, which will remain valid until June 30, 2024.
The salient features of the policy provided wide-ranging subsidies on capital investment for import-substituting industries. It is to reduce expenditure on imports of products and raw materials. Though Bangladesh ranks third in the world in garment exports, entrepreneurs in the sector are mostly dependent on imports to get capital machineries. Insiders said, Bangladesh spent more than Tk 6 lakh crore last year on importing raw materials, finished goods and food products for various industries, including garments, medicines and fast-moving consumer goods. However, the draft policy encourages entrepreneurs to set up industries for producing many products locally for reducing import dependency.
According to a news report published in The New Nation on Monday, under the shelter of the new policy, the domestic manufacturing industries will enjoy duty-free facility through the bonded-warehouse methodology based on allowing a number of duty-free import facilities to help export industries, especially in the export-processing zones. The policy allows the local industries to import raw materials against partial export order through 100-per cent bank guarantee, as well as to import cruise ships through lifting bars. Accordingly, the regulatory authority of the commerce ministry moves to the office of the Chief Controller of Import Export in order to expedite clearance process of export-import documents. The customs authority would release the imported raw materials and other inputs against 100-per cent bank guarantee on the basis of Utilisation Declaration and Utilisation Permission.
Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission (BTTC) will be allowed to determine value addition to the export products manufactured through the duty-free raw materials and the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) will fix up entitlement of the raw materials by issuing notification. Thus, we deem, the import policy has opened a new panacea by way of embodying a set of congenial directives to facilitate domestic industries to grow faster, and thereby facilitating Bangladesh to march ahead to reach the category of developing country within scheduled time frame.