BCMEA wants withdrawal of SD to reduce production cost02 March 2021
Staff Reporter :
The leaders of the Bangladesh Ceramic Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BCMEA) on Monday demanded withdrawal of all the supplementary duty (SD) at manufacturing level of tiles and sanitary ware to develop the domestic industry.
They also proposed lowering duty on imported raw materials to 5 per cent from the existing 10-25 per cent which, the manufacturers say, is very high.
In a pre-budget discussion with the National Board of Revenue (NBR), the BCMEA placed their demand and proposal.
In a written speech, BCMEA President Shirajul Islam Mollah said that the country has 68 ceramic factories with investments of nearly Tk 9,000 crore and they meet 90 per cent demand of the domestic market.
The labour-intensive industry is dependent on imports for about 90 per cent of its raw materials.
"Due to excessive duties on those, we struggle to compete with foreign products," Shirajul said.
Urging not to treat the ceramic goods as longer luxury items, he said, "With time, most of the people use tiles and sanitary products at home. Therefore, supplementary duties should be withdrawn."
Many businessmen have been importing materials, making false declarations because of excessive duties, Shirajul added.
Vice-chairman Moynul Islam of Monno Ceramic demanded that the government give up to 35 per cent depreciation benefits for the imported clay that loses moisture. The NBR now provides a maximum of 25 per cent depreciation benefits.
He asked the NBR to bring the existing ceramic factories under tax holiday facility if new factories set up in the economic zones get it.
NBR Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem said, "The aim of the NBR is to protect the interests of the local industries and help them thrive."
The NBR always holds discussions with businessmen of all the sectors before a national budget so that it can make decisions based on their recommendations to the best interest of the industrial development of the country, he added.
These include 20 tableware, 30 tiles and 18 sanitary ware manufacturers. The local industries are capable of manufacturing more than 205 million square metres of tile, 14.35 million pieces of sanitary ware and 257 million pieces of tableware annually as of fiscal year (FY) 2018-19.
The local manufacturers meet 80 per cent of the local demand for ceramics products and the demand has been increasing at 20 per cent on an average for the last few years, as per the trade body.